Sustainable Building & Design
Green renovation isn't new to Denison; historic Barney-Davis Hall renovated in 1996 already stands as proof, but the bar has been raised with the Bryant Arts Center and Ebaugh Laboratories. Denison is one of 290 colleges and universities to make a commitment that all new campus construction will be built to LEED standards, as set by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.
LEED, a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1995, provides a list of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Buildings can qualify for one of four levels of certification – certified, silver, gold or platinum — based on how many standards are met.
LEED Certified Renovation of Cleveland HallCleveland Hall’s restoration as the new Bryant Arts Center, completed in the fall of 2009, represents Denison’s commitment to sustainable construction, earning LEED Gold Certification. The Bryant Arts Center construction was originally conceived as a lowest-level LEED certification project, but with his senior research project, environmental studies major Zach Thomas ’07 helped persuade the university to reach higher. More than 75 percent of the building’s original structure was retained or reused in the renovation.
Exposed brick walls throughout the building were built using materials salvaged during the interior demolition, while the entire exterior structure was retained and restored. Framed pieces of the building’s salvaged gym floor, spattered with paint drippings from decades of Denison artwork, are displayed on the walls to mirror how the space is being used — to reflect the history of art and explore its future. The building features advanced and efficient lighting, no-water urinals and low-flow toilet fixtures. The building also is surrounded by a lighter shade of concrete to help limit heat island effect, a phenomenon that causes temperature increase due to the urbanization of an area.
Ebaugh LaboratoriesAfter a year of construction and renovation, Ebaugh Laboratories reopened in 2011, better equipped to serve the Chemistry and Biochemistry departments, adding 19,000 square feet of extra classrooms, laboratories, and offices. It also recently has been awarded LEED Gold Certification, the second building at Denison to earn this award, after the Bryant Arts Center. Ebaugh's renovation involved the repurposing of 800 tons of material, as well as sourcing some of its construction materials locally.
Read more about Ebaugh's rating on TheDen.
Barney Davis Green RestorationThe renovation of Barney-Davis Hall restored the historic character of the building and now houses the McPhail Center for Environmental Studies and the English Department. The Barney renovation project was completed in 1998 and produced a place where environmental principles are upheld and demonstrated to the community. Upon the announcement of the gift, Dr. Abram W. Kaplan, director of Environmental Studies, remarked, "our growth has been phenomenal, and this is an incredible opportunity to build a Center that can both showcase an impressive array of environmental innovations and serve as a laboratory for learning about various aspects of the field”.
This project was especially distinctive because it recycled (reused) an existing building, instead of constructing a new building from the ground up. The new Barney-Davis Hall is a showcase for the reuse of an existing structure, energy-efficiency, sustainability, renewable resources, the reduction of toxins, and the recycling of wastes. The Barney renovation project was a real-life exercise in environmental education for the students and community of Denison University, and is now used as a working laboratory for education and research. Environmental Studies coursework often involves studying the technology and efficiency of the building.
The HomesteadThe Homestead is a living-learning experience unique among American colleges and universities. It is a student-run living community with a focus on ecological sustainability.
Recent developments at the Homestead include the construction of the ecologically friendly Cabin Phoenix. Built after a fire destroyed Cabin 2, Cabin Phoenix sprung up from the ashes utilizing an "earth-ship" design. Completed in 2009, the cabin is now home to four of the twelve students that live at the Homestead each year. The foundation is made of rammed earth and used tires and the passive solar design allows the building to take advantage of natural lighting and heating.