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 Biscayne Hall Becomes FGCU’s First LEED Silver Certified Facility

Biscayne Hall Becomes FGCU’s First LEED Silver Certified Facility

8/23/2010

One of two five-story residential halls that comprises the new residential South Village at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Biscayne Hall, recently achieved LEED Silver Certification. Biscayne, which opened to student residents in the Fall of 2009, was designed to adhere to a newly launched university goal to make each new facility LEED certified. This is the first building on the FGCU campus to achieve the prestigious LEED certification.

While obtaining LEED certification was a new objective for FGCU, sustainable design initiatives were not. With its 760-acre campus surrounded by wetlands, pinelands and cypress domes, FGCU realized a commitment to environmental sustainability when it was established in 1997. Working closely with FGCU and architectural and construction management partners (HADP Architecture and Kraft Construction Company), UHS developed a highly sustainable design program that will serve as the benchmark for all future development at the master planned South Village development.

Knowing the significance the impact of a development of this magnitude could have on a tightly constrained site surrounded by wetlands, UHS performed a detailed evaluation of many different building systems with sensitivity to both cost and environmental impact. The result was the selection of a building structural system that was both highly cost effective and significantly limited the amount of airborne pollutants created by construction traffic.

To minimize vehicle-generated dust and other emissions and avoid any resultant negative impact to the ecosystem, the entire five-story building structure was precast at a local manufacturer and transported to FGCU. This approach significantly reduced the impact of construction traffic through a heavily populated campus, reduced jobsite vehicular dust by minimizing the number of vehicles and workers required on site and eliminated a considerable amount of waste debris due the fabrication of these components in a tightly controlled environment. These measures alone significantly reduced the development’s carbon-footprint and aided in the maintaining of the pristine flora and fauna surrounding the project site.

As importantly, 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.

Recycling was also a primary focus of the project team. A recycling/sorting system was established at the start of the project, resulting in a significant reduction of landfill bound waste. “By making the effort to presort materials by categories in designated dumpsters for items, such as paper and aluminum,” explains Jack Dillon, Project Manager, “at minimum, 85% of the materials [were] recyclable, and 15% [were] incinerated. Theoretically, there [was] 100% recycle content, such as concrete and wood.”

Ongoing building energy, water and waste efficiencies resulted from this design, in large part due to a new central energy plant, which has been providing a highly efficient means of generating the projects required cooling capacity.


Additional conservation and sustainability measures undertaken at South Village include:

Although the site chosen for the South Village encompassed a total of 124 acres, the final development plan utilized just under 50 acres to achieve the University’s stated project goals.

UHS’ enhanced sustainable building program has already realized significant savings in maintenance costs. Compared to Biscayne Hall’s sister facility, Everglades Hall, which opened a year earlier, Biscayne Hall’s energy and water bills have averaged 30 percent less on a month-to-month comparison.

Biscayne Hall’s certification as FGCU’s first LEED Silver Certified facility sets the new standard for the campus. “This LEED Silver Certification will further enhance FGCU’s status as Florida’s ‘environmental university’ and give the university a benchmark for achieving LEED Certification for all future campus facilities,” said Bob Mills, UHS’ President & Chief Operating Officer.

About UHS:
UHS has been enriching the lives of students through unparalleled campus development projects since its inception in 1992. As the campus development 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 both clients and their students. With offices in St. Petersburg and Atlanta, UHS has developed over 20,000 on-campus student housing beds, along with activity centers, swimming/diving facilities, banquet/dining halls, parking decks, central energy plants and research centers, always on time or ahead of schedule. For more information, Email or call us at 888-847-8326 (UHS TEAM).

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