The Green Features of Skidmore’s New Apartment Buildings

Revette Photography Skidmore 339
Photo by Revette Photography

Skidmore recently completed the construction on two new apartment buildings on campus which are located on the hillside across from the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall and Kimball Hall.  The buildings currently house sophomores and juniors, but after the Scribner Village Replacement Project is completed, these buildings will primarily serve as housing for sophomores.  These buildings, similar to all of the recent building projects at Skidmore, have multiple green features.

Many of the green features are integrated into the building design, while at least two, bicycle storage and a water filling station, are very visible. Up to twenty bicycles can be stored indoors near the laundry rooms, similar to the Northwoods Village Apartments, and students can also fill up their reusable water bottles (and help reduce the use of plastic water bottles) at a bottle refilling station located in the central laundry room area of one of the buildings.  This is the third water bottle refilling station on campus, with others located in Starbuck Center and the Scribner Library.

Skidmore’s Capital Projects Supervisor, Paul Lundberg, who oversaw the construction of this project, shared some information about how material from the site was creatively used in the project:

“The project sits upon and is built with rock that came directly from the building site.  Because Skidmore sits upon bedrock due to the geology of our area, construction often requires the removal of large amounts of rock.  This project was no different, but after the rock was taken to the stables to be crushed, it was brought back to the site to be utilized on the site in areas such as the foundations; for road and parking lot base; and for rock walls and drainage. The rock was processed on Skidmore property, which also allowed us to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions required to haul the rock between the crusher and the construction site.”

The heating and cooling for these apartments is provided entirely by geothermal energy, which is energy that is captured by running water through underground pipes where the temperature remains constant year round.  36% of the college’s building square footage will be heated and cooled with geothermal upon the completion of the Scribner Village replacement project.  Skidmore recently won a national award for their geothermal installations on campus, which you can learn more about here.

Some of the other energy-saving features of the building, in addition to the renewable heating and cooling energy offered by geothermal, include a super-efficient on-demand water heater that requires less natural gas than would typically be required by a conventional system, daylighting to help minimize the need for lighting during the day, LED lighting used on the exterior of the building, and efficient induction lighting for the street and pole lighting outside of the building.

Photos by Revette Photography
Photos by Revette Photography

The completion of this project and the Scribner Village Replacement Project will also bring the completion of the campus pedestrian path.  Much of the path was already in existence, but did not form a full loop around the campus, which was a suggestion from students in a recent course that focused on sustainable mobility.  The college has added sections to the path near the Williamson Sports Center and leading up to the hillside where the construction is taking place for the new apartments in the past year.  The architects for the Scribner Village Replacement Project are now working with Skidmore to design the final connection to ensure that we can have a complete loop around campus that will integrate into the new apartment village area.  The perimeter path and the green features of the new apartment buildings help to demonstrate the ways that the college continues to integrate sustainability into their planning, design, and building projects throughout the campus.

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