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Kennesaw State University

Overview:


(also a 2011-12 Dormy Award Winner)

Fiscal Times' 2012 "10 Public Colleges With Insanely Luxurious Dorms" List

Description:

Kennesaw State University Foundation awarded UHS the latest phase of new student housing, University Village Suites, on the Kennesaw State University (KSU) campus. KSU, the third-largest university in the University System of Georgia, desired a new upscale freshman housing complex that would become the national standard by which student housing is measured. Completed in July 2008, the development of University Village Suites promotes environmentally conscious measures as part of KSU's continuing effort to create modern facilities that promote healthy, safe and energy-efficient environments.

The suite-style apartments feature spacious private bedrooms, kitchenettes and shared bathrooms. The unique building design promotes resident security, while enhancing the development of the student community. By requiring residents to enter the facility through the three-story central lobby, all access into and out of the facility can be monitored easily by University staff. Furthermore, the central core has been designed as a landmark, or beacon, to residents and clearly communicates a "point-of-arrival" to the facility. With centralized support facilities, which include administrative offices, a computer lab, retail coffee shop, mail services and many community-gathering spaces, the central lobby is the heartbeat of the facility. Accentuated by the infusion of exterior light through the transparency created by the extensive use of glass, the atrium boasts an art gallery and exhibition space on the second floor that showcases artwork, including sculptures, created in conjunction with university educational programs.

A national leader in the development of sustainable student housing, UHS worked closely with the KSU Foundation to identify the need for an environmentally sustainable design that complies with KSU's five-year strategic plan, emphasizing environmental preservation and sustainability. This goal was accomplished by reducing the project's use of non-renewable resources in order to minimize environmental impact. By requiring the addition of features, which included the use of prefabricated structural wall panels, lumber from renewable sources and carpet made of recycled content, the project was able to realize a greatly reduced "carbon footprint" by lowering the quantity of generated construction debris. This reduction resulted in significantly eliminating the energy needed and pollution created to transport debris to landfills.

In addition, many features were designed to enhance indoor air quality and reduce energy and water consumption. Energy reduction initiatives include HVAC controllers with limiting high-low set points, IP controlled HVAC in all public spaces, high-efficiency 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 and faucets. In addition, underground storm water structures allow for conversion to a cistern, thus enabling the recapturing of rainwater for use as a water source for landscape irrigation.

The design of University Village Suites takes advantage of natural lighting throughout the facility. Every corridor and student meeting area benefit from natural lighting through large energy-efficient windows that promote both energy conservation and higher student productivity. As importantly, UHS 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.

This 330,000 square foot building adds 915 beds to KSU's existing 2,163-bed inventory.

In addition to this project, UHS has been assisting KSU with the master planning, renovation and redevelopment of their existing housing stock.

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