For information about Web accessibility, please contact the Webmaster at

Haverford College

Greening Haverford

Sustainable Campus Operations: Green Buildings

Gardener Integrated Athletic Center (GIAC)

LEED Gold Certification

The GIAC's LEED Certification.

Opened in October 2005, the Douglas B. Gardner '83 Integrated Athletic Center is a 100,000-square-foot complex designed by the internationally acclaimed architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Read more on the GIAC - Haverford Athletics site >

The Committee on Environmental Responsibility (CER) was influential in getting the new Gardner Integrated Athletic Center (GIAC) built under LEEDs guidelines. The GIAC received gold certification, the second highest standard.

Learn more about the LEED rating system from the US Green Building Council >

Haverford College has made the commitment to build all future projects green.

Tritton and Kim Residential Halls

In October of 2009 the Committee for Environmental Responsibility (CER) presented a document of what they would like to see included in the new dorm.

An artist's rendering of the new dormitory.

An artist's rendering of the new dormitory.

Desiderata for Tritton Dormitory

The newly announced Tritton Dormitory will be the first new dormitory constructed at Haverford College since 1968. Consistent with Haverford's participation in the American University Presidents Climate Commitment (signed by President Emerson, summer 2007),1 we propose the following features for the new dormitory. By integrating these features into the construction, in many cases they add no or minimal construction cost, and substantially reduce long-term operational costs and environmental impact over the life of the building. As highlighted in the document below, many other commercial buildings in the region have adopted these practices, as have our peer institutions.

Light Bulb Energy

  • Ground-source Heat Pump HVAC System — also known as geothermal heat pumps, these devices rely on the fact that the Earth remains at a constant temperature throughout the year. The heat pump takes advantage of this constant temperature to transfer heat from the earth into the building (for both heating and hot-water production) and into the earth for cooling during the summer. 2 In commercial settings, these systems require 50-80% less mechanical space, simplify construction (only electrical connection required) , reduce energy consumption by 25-50%, and offer reduced maintenance costs over the lifetime of the system.3 A similar system was included as part of the renovation the President's residence at 1 College Lane. When installed in new construction, this costs approximately $1500 more than a conventional HVAC system, but has lower operating costs throughout the lifetime of the building, recouping that value in energy savings in the first year of operation. Consequently, this will drastically reduce greenhouse gas emission, as 66% of electricity in Pennsylvania is produced by nuclear power. Attached to this document are case studies of these types of systems installed in the Beaumont assisted living facility in Bryn Mawr, PA and the Fox Chase Golf Club in Lancaster, PA.4 This system may also be eligible for state energy efficiency incentives.
  • Integrated Smart Metering — a pilot study performed at Oberlin College has demonstrated that feedback via automated data monitoring can reduce student electricity consumption by 55%. 5 Integrated "fine scale" (suite-by-suite) reporting of electricity and water usage can be inexpensively integrated into new construction, and results reported to students by web interface, email, etc. This will lead to lower operating costs and "greener" operation. Carleton college has installed smart meters in its two new dorms; one with reporting by floor and the other with reporting by suite to compare these approaches.6 Commercial solutions exist to provide this resource, and are utilized by institutions including Boston College and University of Richmond.7

Water Water

  • Water Conservation — Automatic dual-flush 1.1/1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets, 1.6 gallon per minute showerheads and 0.5 gallon per minute faucets. Carleton College has recently built two new dormitories with these features, and it is estimated that this will reduce water consumption by 37% compared with typical construction.8
  • Green Roof — Green roofs provide thermal insulation reducing HVAC costs, reduce stormwater runoff issues, and reduce roof replacement costs by protecting waterproofing layers from UV radiation and extreme temperature fluctuations. Examples in dormitory settings include (privately owned) Radian student housing complex at the UPenn and five recently constructed buildings at Penn. State University campuses.9 Also worth noting is the Sandburg Commons dormitory constructed at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee10 which integrated edible plants into the green roof project.11 Haverford College has installed a green roof on Stokes Hall.
  • Greywater Reuse — Commercial systems that use shower water for use in toilet flushing exist, e.g., EcoPlay.12 This can further reduce water usage by 30%. These systems are consistent with the International Plumbing Code, although it may be in conflict with the Uniform Plumbing Code in place in some United States jurisdictions.13 We propose that this be considered, at least for some small subset of suites as a pilot study. 14
  • Landscaping and Storm Water Runoff — (verbatim from Master Plan) Direct downspouts to infiltration structures and/or rain gardens before connecting to conventional storm drains; Direct pavement runoff to rain gardens or lawns (dispersed and small catchment areas) or to water quality storm filters (for roadway pavement) that connect to infiltration structures (for concentrated runoff and large catchment areas); The Arboretum has been including regional native species in their new tree plantings, including those which are not commonly available in the nursery trade (including hickories, walnuts, oaks, chestnut). 84% of new specimens planted between 2005 and 2008 were of this type. Landscaping around the new dorm should continue this trend, especially as it will be located next to the stream and a natural area of campus.

Recycle Design for sustainability

  • Covered Bicycle Facilities — Bicycles are a practical and sustainable way for students to move around campus. Especially for freshmen, who are not allowed to have cars on campus, providing a safe and protected location to store bicycles will encourage students to use bicycles throughout their time at Haverford. This facility could also serve as a location for a campus bicycle-sharing program.
  • Incorporate Recycling Workflow Into Design — make recycling practices more efficient and simpler for students and maintenance staff by designing efficient an aesthetically pleasing recycling workflows on each floor.

Notes References

  2. (Accessed 8 Oct 02009)
  3. (Accessed 08 Oct 02009)
  4. Both case studies are attached as PDF files.
  5. J. E. Petersen et al, Int. J. Sustain. Higher Educ. 8, 16 (2007). Attached as PDF.
  6.; (Accessed 8 Oct 02009)
  7. (Accessed 08 Oct 02009)
  8. (Accessed 08 Oct 02009)
  9. (Accessed 08 Oct 02009)
  10. (Accessed 08 Oct 02009)
  11. (Accessed 08 Oct 02009)
  12. (Accessed 08 Oct 02009)
  13. (Accessed 08 Oct 02009)