Sustainability in Buildings
We’re committed to building to LEED silver standards in our construction projects.
In committing to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), Ursinus also committed to building new buildings and major renovations to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standards. In recent years, the College has undertaken several renovations to LEED silver standards, including the Berman Art Museum addition, Wismer renovations, the bookstore renovation and two science lab renovations. These projects have not been LEED certified as a cost saving measure, but we attain the same energy-saving benefits from them. And our renovations and retrofits are having a demonstrable impact. Between 2001 and 2010, the College increased its total building square footage by almost 400,000 square feet. During that same time, because of energy efficiency upgrades, renovations, and construction practices, Ursinus’ level of net CO2 emissions remained static. Ursinus typically includes some or all of the following in its renovations: low flow water systems, recycling of construction waste/removal, energy efficient lighting and windows, insulation improvements, room occupancy sensors, variable speed drives and pumps, and heat recovery.
From time to time, the College also needs to add new structures to the campus. We have been in a long-term discussion about updating our science buildings (Pfahler and Thomas Halls). This is likely to include both a major addition that would connect our science buildings and substantial renovations to both buildings. This renovation is needed, but will be costly and represents a major capital commitment. Pfahler Hall is our largest energy user, thus any renovation to it has the potential to create sizeable greenhouse gas emission reductions. Additionally, the Facilities Services Department has identified projects that will reduce energy consumption related to energy consumption in campus buildings and move us toward our long term goal of becoming carbon neutral.