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UHS is Now a U.S. Green Building Council Member

April 2008

St. Petersburg – As part of its corporate mission to develop the most successful and innovative solutions that serve as the model in the industry, University Housing Services (UHS), Inc., recently joined the U.S. Green Building Council.

Robert Mills, Executive Director at UHS, believes their membership will keep the company’s personnel better informed and trained about the latest information, technology and processes in the marketplace. Explains Mills, “As a leading developer of student communities, we understand the importance of doing our part to help plan for future generations by advancing initiatives that lead to healthier environments. Our membership with the U.S. Green Building Council is one more way that we can help ensure that our solutions help minimize environmental impact.”

While several key UHS team members are already LEED (Leadership through Energy and Environmental Design) accredited, it is Mills’ goal to have all key team members become certified. UHS’ team members have worked on several projects involving sustainable design for higher-education clients. Current projects include Kennesaw State University’s Village Suites and Florida Gulf Coast University’s South Village.

Kennesaw State University’s Village Suites

UHS was contracted by the Kennesaw State University Foundation (KSUF) on behalf of KSU, the third-largest university in the University System of Georgia, to develop this second phase of student housing, University Village Suites, which is based on a sustainable design that has reduced the use of non-renewable resources, minimizing environmental impact.

Several building components stem from recycled content that have low-volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. The suite-style housing, which consists of private bedrooms, kitchenettes, an art gallery and exhibition area, features prefabricated structural wall panels, lumber from renewable sources and carpet made of recycled content. This will result in greatly reduced levels of debris generation and removal and significantly cut down on energy and pollution needed to transport waste.

UHS’ design takes advantage of natural lighting throughout the housing complex. Every corridor and several key student meeting areas will benefit from natural lighting through large windows that promote both energy savings and higher student productivity. In addition, many features are designed to enhance indoor air quality and reduce energy and water consumption. Energy reduction initiatives include HVAC controllers with adjustable high-low setpoints, fluorescent fixtures, proximity sensors, electrical circuit timers, double-pane energy-efficient unit windows and ceiling fans. Water consumption reduction initiatives include high-efficiency toilets and reduced-flow shower heads.

Florida Gulf Coast University’s South Village

The development concept at South Village, which is located on Florida Gulf Coast University’s 760-acre campus, has included fabricating the entire building structure offsite at a local manufacturer and transporting it to Florida Gulf Coast University to minimize waste, heighten quality control and reduce the total number of construction vehicles required on campus. Through an extensive and complex permitting process with South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Army Corps of Engineers, the UHS team designed and constructed settlement ponds to prevent any construction site drainage from flowing into the wetlands, installed wind rows and sprinkler systems to mitigate the production of site pollutants and implemented a construction recycling system in which almost 100% of the materials will be reclaimed or incinerated as an alternate fuel source. Phase VIII, which is almost 70% complete, has been lauded by SFWMD as a model development with no citations or site violations issued to date.

In addition, several significant initiatives have been implemented to maximize building lifecycles. These include reduced energy and water consumption and waste production, such as the construction of a new central energy plant, low E impact resistant windows, florescent lighting, high/low set point thermostats, low-flow shower heads and faucets and a central trash facility that encourages the recycling of student waste. UHS also placed a very high priority on limiting the “off-gassing” of volatile organic compounds (VOC) of all interior finishes, thereby immediately creating a living environment more conducive to learning. 

Creating Positive Change for Everyone

UHS believes its membership with the U.S. Green Building Council will further position them as a leader in university and college campus facility development. “Our clients are helping to lead the charge in implementing green initiatives into their long-term strategic planning,” said Mills, “and we’ve responded by giving them the most current and innovative sustainable solutions.”

About UHS:
UHS has been enriching the lives of students through unparalleled campus development projects since its inception in 1992. As a long-term partner of colleges,  universities and their Foundations throughout the nation, UHS provides at-risk development, project management, design, construction and financing through an expedited approach that yields significant benefits for clients and their students.

For more information, please call (888) UHS-TEAM (847-8326) or e-mail us at uhsteam@uhsi.com.

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