Roanoke College’s Lucas Hall earns LEED silver certification

SALEM, Va.-Roanoke College's Lucas Hall officially is a green building, following an extensive transformation that outfitted the structure with features that cut energy use and protect the environment.

Earlier this month, this building that houses classrooms and offices for Roanoke's Modern Languages department received a silver rating as a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design project. The structure, built in 1941, is the first on Roanoke's campus to be LEED certified, which highlights high performance green buildings nationwide.

The U.S. Green Building Council developed LEED certification for commercial and residential projects designed with environmentally friendly characteristics, such as water efficient devices and features that save energy. Construction administrators register for LEED certification in the early stages of a project, but a building does not receive the official certification until the work is complete. Ratings are based on the number of LEED points that a project earns for meeting specific green building criteria.

Roanoke registered for LEED certification when the Lucas renovations began in 2009. The building closed for 18 months and reopened last fall with energy and environmentally-safe components that span the more than 26,000-square-foot structure. They include high-efficiency fluorescent lamps, motion-activated faucets and light fixtures, dual flush toilets and a storm water treatment system that captures and removes rainwater runoff.

Most of the hall's existing walls, floors and roof were recycled or retained, while more than 10 percent of the renovation materials used came from recycled products. Also, at least 60 percent of the wood products are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Additionally a green cleaning program is in place at Lucas that requires cleaning staff to use environmentally-friendly materials.

Lucas' transformation underscores Roanoke's green mission across campus.

"Our goal is to build environmentally-friendly buildings," said Larry Walker, manager of planning and projects at Roanoke.

Another campus building is moving toward LEED certification. Roanoke's new 65,000-square-foot residence hall, under construction near Kerr Stadium, is registered for LEED's silver rating, Walker said. The hall is expected to open for students next fall.

Along with environmentally-safe changes, Lucas also received some high-tech upgrades with the renovation. New features include classrooms with retractable walls, televisions throughout lobby areas, a high-tech media class space and a rooftop garden terrace. Construction crews also expanded the building's size by about 12,551 square feet. 

See Lucas Hall's new look. Click here to watch a video tour of the building.

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as the 18th most beautiful campus in its "Best 376 Colleges" 2012 guidebook.

Released: October 14, 2011
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