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Pearson Hall earns LEED certification for environmentally friendly design

January 19, 2017

Pearson Hall's exterior
Pearson Hall opened in November 2015.

The U.S. Green Building Council has recognized Pearson Hall with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification.

The certification recognizes the use of sustainable and/or recycled materials, energy efficiency, water efficiency, air quality, access to alternative transportation, and other aspects in the design and construction of the building.

Pearson Hall is the 14th Virginia Tech facility to earn a LEED certification. Since 2010, the university has added a total of 1.16 million gross square feet of LEED certified space on the Blacksburg campus.

Pearson Hall was completed in 2015 and is the university’s newest residential facility. Built in the collegiate Gothic style that characterizes most of Virginia Tech’s main Blacksburg campus, the 101,422-square-foot building contains more than 230 residential rooms for members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, as well as study and lounge spaces on each level. It has five above-ground floors and a basement.

In addition to the 500 cadets who live in the building, Skipper, the Corps of Cadets cannon, and the Corp’s canine ambassador, Growley II (call sign "Tank), also call Pearson Hall home.

The LEED certification recognizes various eco-friendly design and construction elements of Pearson Hall, including:

  • The building location since Pearson Hall is built on the site formerly occupied by Rasche Hall, no undeveloped land was required for new building.

  • More than 95 percent of the waste generated during construction was diverted from landfills.

  • The building provided uncovered bicycle parking totaling approximately 35 racks for bicycle storage needs.

  • Sustainable building materials were used throughout the building, and more than 21 percent of the materials used within the building had been previously recycled.

  • Multiple water conservation materials were incorporated, including water-efficient fixtures that save 35 percent more potable water than code minimum through automated faucet timers, showers and faucets that release fewer gallons per minute, and toilets that require less water.

    The building has a 22 percent better energy performance than a comparable building, a result of the selection of mechanical equipment that uses less energy and operates without utilizing ozone depleting CFC refrigerants.

  • Landscaping around the building incorporates native plant species that are not water intensive and don’t require ongoing irrigation.

The Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment, which was reaffirmed in 2013, commits the university to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, to achieving a minimum LEED rating of silver for all major renovations and new construction, to reaching a 50 percent recycling rate by 2020, and to improving energy efficiency where and whenever possible in campus buildings.

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