case western reserve university



Case's Village at 115 to be among nation's leaders in energy efficiency, environmentally conscious design

Case Western Reserve University’s new $126 million housing project —The Village at 115—is expected to be among the nation’s leaders in energy efficiency and environmentally conscious design.

In addition to pursuing points on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system for the seven residential houses in three buildings that will open this fall, Case also is establishing one of the most comprehensive systems for measuring energy consumption.

“We expect to be among the first LEED-certified buildings in Ohio and considered a national leader in energy measurement and verification. This will be on the cutting edge,” said Donald Kamalsky, assistant vice president for student affairs and director of housing at Case.

Informational kiosks in each residential house will provide the 740 students who occupy The Village at 115 with statistics on real-time steam, water and electricity. Monthly and annual energy use will be monitored and calculated per house and per student occupant.

In addition, energy operations for the Village at 115 will be compared to existing conventionally-designed buildings on campus.

Overall, the high performance buildings in The Village at 115 are expected to reduce annual energy consumption by 40 percent, and reduce peak heating and cooling demand by 30-40 percent over conventional buildings.

“We wanted to make the buildings a teaching instrument and help students to learn and live an environmentally appropriate lifestyle,” said Gene Matthews, director of facilities services at Case. “Once students understand how their lifestyles impact [the environment], they can begin to control how much energy the building consumes, and it gives them some control over their living space.

“Our goal is to produce a generation of students who are more environmentally aware and conscious not because they learned it out of a book, but because they learned to live that way here,” Matthews added.

The data on energy consumption also will be broadcast on the Internet, allowing researchers from almost anywhere to access the information.

Energy-efficient initiatives for The Village at 115 include a heating and cooling system design that allow for hot and chilled water to be generated at two central locations and then distributed to each house that is part of this phase of the project. The system is designed to reduce energy usage and loss, as well as maximize free cooling and heating during the “shoulder” seasons of fall and spring.

The Village at 115 also features a unique system for ground water recharge, the collection of surface storm water and most roof run-off water. The water will percolate into the ground gradually rather than into the sewer system with wastewater.

“Students said we should be a model for building energy-efficient buildings. Being responsive to environmental concerns was the responsible thing to do,” Kamalsky said.

In addition to the environmentally conscious features that will exist in the new buildings, Kamalsky said about 60 percent of the construction waste for this project has been recycled.

Other energy conservation measures and efforts to encourage recycling for The Village at 115 include:

  • highly insulated, air tight buildings
  • light shelves
  • high-performance windows
  • local materials such as brick, slate and poured in place concrete (cuts down on fuel and transportation costs)
  • construction materials that were made from recycled materials
  • motion detectors to monitor occupancy and reduce energy used for lighting
  • recycling bins in each residential house
  • electrical distribution that is designed to reduce power loss
  • individual fan coil units in each suite to moderate temperature
  • drip irrigation and low-flow plumbing fixtures for water conservation

Project organizers are compiling an inventory of all these environmental measures and will send the information to the U.S. Green Buildings Council, which will award LEED points for the project. LEED-certified professionals have been involved with various stages of The Village at 115.


About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.