As a part of the Green Campus Initiative, Castleton has made both technological and architectural advances to improve the University's carbon footprint. Though all of our buildings promote environmental responsibility, we have three sustainable facilities that add to Castleton's climb as a leader in energy efficiency.
The Campus Center was reopened in September 2009 after a $7.5 million renovation and expansion. The facility was awarded a gold rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design by the US Green Building Council.
During the construction process, 97% of the existing structure was reused. Also, the construction materials emit low volatile organic compounds which produce vapors that can affect health and climate. The flat white-roof design ensures that the building reflects radiant heat and does not contribute to global warming. Above the 1787 Room, the curved roof is made entirely from recycled aluminum and steel. Both the exterior and interior lighting of the facility is designed to reduce light pollution and 90% of the building has outside views which provides for natural lighting.
The interior of the building is designed with increased ventilation and has energy efficiency standards that surpass code requirements by 18 percent. All areas can be individually controlled and most can be individually monitored. Through the combined use of flush-less urinals, dual flush toilets and low-flow faucets, the facilities water use is reduced by 51%. Light harvesters are used within the offices and most lighting utilizes motion sensors and sunlight sensing step dimming.
Castleton's newest residence hall, Hoff Hall, has also achieved a LEED gold rating for its implementation of resource-efficiency and environmental responsibility. During the construction process, 120 solar panels were installed to the roof. This 28.8 kW solar array powers the facility. Additionally, the Hoff Hall rooftop also generates power from four micro-wind turbines. With a blade diameter of three feet, the turbines produce just less than one kilowatt when operating at full power.
Castleton's Spartan Arena is dedicated to becoming a leader in ice rink sustainability, as we continue to make energy efficient enhancements, including the recent installation of the arena's ice system. Showcased by Efficiency Vermont in front of more than 40 rink managers from across the country and into Canada, the system allows for an overall decrease in water consumption which creates a reduction in total energy usage.
The arena's recent energy reduction results show a reduction in the rink's kilowatt-hours usage, from about 75,000 for January 2007 to under 50,000 for January 2014. The tremendous decrease is a direct result of the recent improvements and shows that the arena is able to maintain steadily decreasing kilowatt usage, while producing some of the best ice in New England.
Impacts of the Green Campus Initiative can be observed throughout the entire campus. The newest installation of energy efficient products on campus is a ground mounted solar array and dual-vehicle electric fueling station located outside of Jeffords Hall. Additionally, refillable water stations in each building reduce the use of plastic bottles that are harmful to the environment.