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Build green, board of trustees chairman says

deal_t.jpgBOONE—Jim Deal, chairman of Appalachian State University’s Board of Trustees says the university should strive to build energy efficient and environmentally friendly buildings in the future.

“I think it’s important for us as a board of trustees to take the position that in all future construction, we do the most we can to have these buildings meet LEED certification requirements,” Deal said during the board’s Dec. 7 meeting.

“We may not want to actually pay the cost of having (buildings) LEED certified, but we need to build buildings that are green buildings,” he said.

deal_t2.jpgAppalachian State University Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Deal, left, wants the university to pursue environmentally friendly design and construction on future building projects. (Appalachian photo by Jane Nicholson)

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards were developed in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council. The recognized standards for environmentally friendly construction address human and environmental health, sustainable site development, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Appalachian has incorporated green building standards into past residence hall renovation projects. For instance, residence hall lighting now uses energy efficient ballasts and recyclable fluorescent bulbs, according to Tommy Wright, interim director of housing operations. In addition, low-flow shower heads and water-conserving toilets are installed as halls are renovated. Motion sensors turn off lights when a room is unoccupied.

“The university has been doing this in the past. This is just a statement from the board of trustees that says we considered this the appropriate thing to do for the environment and the appropriate thing from an educational perspective,” Deal said. “We have wonderful (faculty) resources on this campus. Graduate students come to Appalachian to learn about sustainable development and green facilities. What better way to have them learn than to have them actually participate in helping us make sure we do that?”

Planned improvements to Frank Residence Hall that will follow LEED guidelines include purchasing building materials locally whenever possible to reduce fuel consumption associated with transportation; using building materials made from recycled items and purchasing materials that can be recycled when renovations occur; and installing water source heat pumps in each room rather than using the campus steam system for heat. “In terms of life cycle costs, it’s less expensive over the long term,” Wright said. The building also will have low-flow toilets and shower fixtures,

In addition, officials will install a computerized monitoring system in the residence hall lobby that will let students see how water and electricity is being used floor by floor.