Green is the color of the "Fighting Irish"--in more ways than one. The University of Notre Dame is committed to sustainability, pursuing LEED certification on its major construction projects. Ryan Hall, the University’s newest women’s residence hall, is a 75,000-square-foot, multistory facility with a partial basement, 248 new student beds and a new student chapel. Designed by Mackey Mitchell Architects, it features the collegiate Gothic style that is consistent with Notre Dame’s campus architecture. This project received LEED gold certification.

Notable sustainable features include:

• Zero VOCs in all adhesives, paints, and sealants.

• Low-flow plumbing and fixtures.

• Controllability of lighting/thermal control by use of proximity switches.

• Enhanced building commissioning.

• Alternative transportation (bicycle storage).

• Recycling stations in the building.

• Notre Dame’s "green housekeeping" program.

As construction manager for the project, Skanska’s construction methods supported LEED:

• Approximately 76 percent of construction debris (970 tons) was diverted from landfills.

• Approximately 31 percent of total materials (by cost) are derived from post-consumer and post-industrial (i.e. pre-consumer) recycled materials.

• Approximately 39 percent of the total materials (by cost) are extracted and manufactured within a 500 mile radius of the job site.

• An indoor air quality (IAQ) management plan during construction included prohibiting smoking within 25 feet of the building envelope; and proper protection of ventilation ductwork during delivery, storage and installation.

  • Read the main story, "Planning Green," to learn how a LEED project does not have to cost more, but effective construction management is essential.