There are many good reasons to renovate and reuse existing buildings — cost is just one of them.
The most important sustainable design factor is constructing residence halls that can evolve as student needs do.
Across the nation, universities and corporate real-estate developers alike are trying to reduce energy usage and improve energy efficiency. This trend is motivated not only by costs, but also by a feeling of corporate responsibility. In addition, students and staff are demanding more comfortable, aesthetically pleasing facilities.
At higher-education facilities, residence halls pose the most significant challenges. Residence halls are huge users and abusers of energy. Schools must carefully balance attempts to rein in energy cost and waste with students' demands for comfort and control of heating and cooling systems.
Here are a few critical areas that facilities managers can consider when looking at ways to improve sustainability and energy conservation in residence halls.