First LEED Platinum student center in the U.S. gives university a new, green identity
The Student Center at the University of the District of Columbia will be the first LEED Platinum student centre in the United States. The university building will serve as a model for sustainability and 'green' practices for not only the students and visitors who utilise the Center, but also for the community around it and beyond. Graphics inside the building will educate people on the sustainable components of the Center, such as how much energy is being saved, as well as tips to reduce individual's carbon footprints on the environment.
Aspects of sustainability for the 65,000-sq-ft Student Center will include: green roofing, photovoltaics to convert light into electricity and enhance efficiency, rain gardens, bioswales, geothermal well field to reduce energy use for heating and cooling, sun screens, low E insulated glazing, pervious pavers and bio-retention facilities both within the public right-of-way and on the campus proper that will retain, filter and treat storm water runoff and monitor the quality of water entering the city's storm water drain. This will directly improve the water supply for the surrounding community and outlying communities that rely on the Potomac River as a water source.
The student center is anticipated to be a hub of student activity and to provide resources for the local community. Right now, the school does not have student housing, so students leave campus right after class because they do not have a place to mingle, socialise, and promote a sense of community. The UDC Student Center will revitalise the campus and create a venue for students to linger on campus, make connections, and collaborate. The Student Center will contain a mix of uses, including a welcome center, computer lab, ballroom, space for student government and activity offices, assembly space for university programs and spaces for socialising.