LEEDing the Way in Environmental Sustainability

March, 2007


Plymouth State University’s newest residence hall, LangdonWoods, is the state’s first residence hall—and one of the nation’s largest—to earn gold-level certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. “Receiving the USGB gold LEED certification symbolizes the commitment we have as a University to developing an environmentally sustainable plan that will have a positive effect for many, many years,” said PSU President Sara Jayne Steen.

LangdonWoods, which officially opened in September, 2006, was outted with energy and water conserving fixtures and systems, including low-flow faucets and
dual flush toilets. These features translate into a 58 percent reduction in energy use and a 36 percent reduction in water use— representing a $230,000 annual savings. Heating for LangdonWoods is provided through a waste-heat cogeneration plant housed on-campus. This winter, the building used the equivalent of only four days of heating fuel.

The construction of Langdon Woods is the capstone to a comprehensive environmental sustainability program PSU is incorporating into all of its campus planning to reduce its environmental impact and raise awareness.

Recently, President Steen signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, pledging PSU’s participation in a broad effort by the nation’s higher education institutions to address global warming by neutralizing their greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating research and educational efforts to equip society to restabilize the earth’s climate.
—Bruce Lyndes

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