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Berea College - Deep Green Residence Hall

Location: Berea, KY​

​Size: 40,253 SF​

Green Features:
High Efficiency Building Envelope

13% Renewable Energy (PV)

Graywater Infiltration

Rainwater Harvesting

Student Designed + Built Furniture

Integrated Agriculture

Green Materials

Our Role:

Sustainable Visioning Charrettes

Conceptual Design Options

LEED/Living Building Challenge

Sustainable Goal Setting 

Visioning Conceptual Design

Incremental Progress Reports


People We Worked With:

Clint Patterson

Tim Glotzbach

Dr. Sean Clark

Project Info:

The 120 bed, 40,253 SF, $15 million dollar residence hall was awarded LEED Platinum certification and Living Building Challenge Petal Recognition.  Some of the many sustainable design features include:

A 50 kilowatt solar panel array installed on the south roof line produces 14% of the building’s annual energy usage.

• The buildings closed-loop geothermal system circulates earth-tempered water through 50 wells drilled 375 feet deep into the earth and throughout the building for heating and cooling needs.

• Increased insulation, a heat-reflective roof and high-efficiency windows help retain cool air during summer and heat during winter.

• Operable windows and ceiling fans in all occupied spaces allows the building to ventilate naturally when conditions are right.

• The use of natural day-lighting, Energy Star rated appliances, high-efficiency lighting and energy management controls are used throughout the building to further reduce electrical demand.

• Rain gardens with native vegetation and permeable pavements provide storm water protection.

• A building dashboard tracks energy consumption and makes occupants and visitors aware of the building’s ecological footprint.

• Brick manufactured with 100% recycled materials covers the building’s exterior and helps create a high-efficiency envelope.

• These components result in savings of 55% in annual energy costs and earn all 35 Energy and Atmosphere points and 3 regional priority credits.



The design approach focused on exemplifying principles at the core of the college’s mission: that all people deserve the opportunity for knowledge, should possess a strong work ethic, and support the local community. The project began with the distribution of an all-campus survey exploring student attitudes, interests, knowledge, and support for the sustainable initiatives already implemented on campus as well as new initiatives of interest. Focus groups, comprised of student and faculty/administrative representatives, served to inform the Administration and coordinate with the Building Committee. Three, day-long Charrettes were structured as follows:

Charrette #1 explored the opportunities for deep green design using LEED and Living Building Challenge, but also went beyond these frameworks to capture the unique opportunities at the college. This charrette was educational based and highly interactive with the end goal of establishing the overall green threshold for the project.

Charrette #2 explored the conceptual implementation of these deep green initiatives with the actual building program to help the college and students visualize the ramifications.

Charrette #3 served to establish the final program, conceptual design direction and construction costs. The LEED and Living Building Strategy, as well as the beyond LEED, stretch goals were established.  To assist the college in evaluating project options, a base cost was determined along with the cost impact of incorporating deep green elements.

Conceptual Design Report, “Sustainable Residential Living Blueprint,” was produced at the end of the charrette phases and excerpts from the report were used to present the project to the Board of Trustees and the College Building Committee for final approval, which was unanimous. The report not only served to identify goals for the dormitory project, but also summarized the campus-wide sustainability vision.

Building Biography
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