Duke Waits For Latest LEED Certification

New "K4" residence hall could give Duke its 23rd LEED building

The new Keohane residence hall  on West Campus is likely to become Duke's 23rd LEED certified building, adding to the university's already impressive list of sustainable structures.

The building, which is the fourth side of Keohane Quad, would become the  latest building recognized by the U.S. Green Building for green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. The new building is expected to earn a silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating, the second of four levels that range from "certified" to "platinum," the highest rating

"As part of our Climate Action Plan, it's important for Duke to make the commitment to green building not only to help reduce Duke's carbon emissions, but be a leader in sustainability," said Tavey Capps, Duke sustainability director. "The new Keohane building is just part of our continued efforts to make sustainability a campus-wide priority."

An application for LEED certification was submitted to the Green Building Council in December, with a response expected by April. A full list of Duke's LEED buildings is available online. Duke has a standard of all new buildings achieving a minimum of LEED certification.

Among the efforts to achieve the LEED silver rating, Duke  took steps that will offer a 35 percent reduction in water use over an "average" building its size by installing water efficient appliances, low-flow faucets and dual-flush toilets. The building, which opens this week, will also have a 12 percent reduction in energy use due to motion sensors that control lighting and air flow in rooms. The new Keohane wing is on Duke's central cooling system, which keeps temperatures between approximately 68 and 76 degrees.

Other sustainable aspects include:

  • A storage room for student bicycles.
  • Recycling bins in every room.
  • Increased air quality by using low or non-toxic sealants, paint and adhesives.
  • Recycling 75 percent of construction materials by saving or salvaging concrete through a local waste management program.
  • Using treated windows to reflect outside heat during warm months and insulate indoor heat during cold months.

"We built a lot of the window space with LEED in mind, but we also wanted to create spaces that were very bright and cheery to create a pleasant atmosphere in the building," said Ray Walker , the Facilities Management project manager for the Keohane construction. "We are confident we did a good job in regard to LEED. However, there's no one single feature that stands out as having more impact than others - It will be the sum of them all that achieves our target of a silver rating."