Dozens of PSU students, faculty, staff and state dignitaries attended the ribbon cutting of Langdon Woods Residence Hall October 13, culminating a 15-month, $29 million dollar construction project, which is unique due to its environmentally-conscious design and construction. To many at PSU and the community, it seemed fitting that this project be built on the Langdon Woods site.
Nearly 200 years ago, Langdon Woods was a remote, thickly forested part of Plymouth owned by a stagecoach operator named James Fogg Langdon. Langdon had a reputation as a man of foresight, creativity and diligence. Today, in that same corner of town, stands a Plymouth State University residence hall that not only bears Langdon’s name, it also aspires to achieve his qualities. PSU president Sara Jayne Steen related the site’s history and link with James Langdon, saying, “I think he would have liked the building that bears his name.”
This state-of-the-art project features a layout that follows the contour of the land on-site, preserving wetlands and other water elements while allowing maximum sunlight exposure for energy conservation. The brick, wood and glass building was outfitted with energy and water conserving fixtures and systems, including some waterless urinals. Heat is provided through a co-generation plant housed next door. These features will mean 58 percent less energy use and a 36 percent reduction in water use. PSU intends to pursue a gold-level certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership-Energy-Environmental Design (LEEDS) program.
USNH Trustee Chairman Andrew Lietz characterized Langdon Woods as “truly an example of many hands, hearts and the best minds working collaboratively for a superior result.”
As for the living quarters, Langdon Woods offers suite-style living options as well as hotel-type single and double bedrooms, a 1,000 square-foot aerobic exercise area, a coffee shop, a common area with wireless Internet access, smaller areas for students to congregate, bathrooms with more privacy, a laundry room, secure bicycle storage and a meeting/conference room. Additionally, the carpets throughout the building are recyclable and the University outfitted the rooms with furniture manufactured locally in Lisbon, N.H.
USNH Chancellor Stephen J. Reno, quoting British statesman Winston Churchill, noted,
“We shape our buildings, and then our buildings shape us,” in reference to the forward-thinking environmental aspects of the project.
The five-story high building has a capacity of 347 students and will be paid for entirely by student fees.