James Hall Granted LEED Gold Certification
By Beth Potier, Media Relations
July 7, 2010
The renovation of James Hall restored many important architectural characteristics, including the central stairway. Lisa Nugent, UNH Photographic Services
James Hall has received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building
Council for its $34.2 million renovation and expansion. James Hall, which houses
the UNH departments of Earth sciences and natural resources and the environment,
is the first UNH building project to seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental
The renovation and expansion, a collaboration with Shawmut Construction and Design
and EYP Architecture and Design, was supported by the KEEP-NH (Knowledge Economy
Education Plan) capital improvements initiative. It began in August 2008 and
finished in January 2010.
“This gold certification exemplifies and advances UNH’s long-standing
commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency, resource conservation and enduring
facility construction,” says Douglas Bencks, university architect and director
of campus planning. “We sought silver certification but achieved gold,
thanks in part to the project team’s attention to energy efficiency and
several innovative components.”
Sustainable innovations in James Hall include a gray water system that captures
rainwater from the building’s roof and gutters for use in toilets and urinals;
daylight harvesting, which utilizes sensors to turn off electrical fixtures when
natural daylight provides adequate light; and a heat wheel recovery system, which
makes the air handling unit extremely efficient. In addition, 20 percent of the
materials used in the renovation consist of recycled content, and 30 percent
of the materials were extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of Durham.
Visitors to James Hall can monitor energy use live via an interactive energy
kiosk in the building.
Built in 1929 to house the chemistry department, James Hall – named for
chemistry professor Charles James – had not undergone much renovation throughout
its history, yet the “bones” of the building were intact. While the
renovation increased the building’s size by 14,000 square feet, it salvaged
and restored many important architectural characteristics, including the central
stairway and 75 percent of existing exterior walls, floors and roof, to maintain
the character of the building.
Additional features of the renovation include a “green” roof that
uses plantings to clean and conserve water; an outdoor “classroom” featuring
a slate chalkboard from the original building; and an 1878 wooden New Hampshire
geological relief map by Charles Hitchcock, restored by Professor Emeritus of
geology Wally Bothner.
Watch a video of the James Hall renovation: http://vimeo.com/8995719
Watch a video of the Hitchcock Map renovation: http://vimeo.com/8972779