UNCG’s Jefferson Suites Residence Hall has been awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, an acknowledgement of the 176,000-square-foot building’s sustainable design, construction and operation.

Jefferson Suites is the second building at the university to receive LEED certification in as many years. The UNCG School of Education was certified LEED Gold in 2012.

“Jefferson Suites is the first residence hall at UNCG to receive LEED certification. It’s a tangible demonstration of the university’s commitment to sustainability, which is a value in UNCG’s strategic plan,” said Jorge Quintal, associate vice chancellor for facilities. “Achieving LEED Silver certification sets a standard for sustainable design and construction practices on future projects on our campus.”

Silver certification is earned by scoring 50 of 110 possible credits; Jefferson Suites earned 55 credits. The project exceeded the criteria in some categories by diverting almost 90 percent of construction waste from landfills and providing state-of-the-art ventilation systems throughout the building.

Jefferson Suites opened in August 2011, but officials weren’t able to submit the building for LEED consideration until post-occupancy measurements could be taken to evaluate building performance in certain categories.

Design elements of the $31.5 million building are projected to reduce energy use 24 percent and water consumption 36 percent compared with a typical new building of the same size. The building is expected to save more than 50 percent of the annual natural gas consumption through the use of high-efficiency condensing boilers. Other energy and water-saving technologies to help achieve these savings include: high-efficiency chillers, exterior lighting that reduces electrical consumption by 50 percent, water-efficient landscaping, and motion sensors to automatically control lighting and HVAC.

Additional items for which the project earned credits include:

  • The use of low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints, sealants and carpet
  • 37 percent recycled content in building materials
  • 65 percent locally and regionally sourced building materials

The project also received an exemplary credit for implementing a comprehensive transportation demand management plan that emphasizes alternate transportation such as university and city buses, cycling and walking.


By Lanita Withers Goins