University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Residence Hall Earns LEED Silver Certification

BRADFORD, PA –The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s newest residence hall, the $17-million, 170-bed Livingston Alexander House, has earned LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first building on the campus to achieve LEED certification.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is green building certification that takes into account sustainability considerations that include green construction practices, water and energy efficiency, and more.

“It’s about caring for the environment,” says Rick Esch, vice president of business affairs, about the campus’s latest new facility meeting LEED standards. “Climate change is real. When you build sustainable buildings, it benefits the environment, the health of residents and the health of those constructing and making the materials that go into a LEED-certified building.”

Alexander House, which was completed and dedicated in 2018, was constructed from concrete and lumber from forests certified in sustainable forestry practices. The freshman-only hall is a three-story building wherein residents live in two-person bedrooms within a section of 24-36 students. This arrangement enables each section to have its own special programming and give students opportunities to learn outside the classroom.

High-efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning as well as thermal glass and insulation reduce the building’s energy consumption by 30 percent over standard construction. Additionally, the power supplied to Alexander House comes from renewable resources. Paint and carpets used inside the building emit a low level of organic compounds, as do the furnishings made from recycled materials. Even the cleaning supplies used in the residence hall must meet strict standards.

Occupied since the fall of 2018, the building has bike storage for students and parking places for electric vehicles. Plumbing fixtures in the building consume less water.

The construction process created as little waste as possible. The demanding standards of LEED required that even the waste headed to the landfill be measured. Anything that could be recycled was sorted for recycling.

“Between 10 percent and 100 percent of the materials used in all of the furniture is from recycled materials or can be recycled,” says Rhett Kennedy, director of auxiliary services.

Esch said the university’s goal is to achieve LEED status for all new construction on the campus, including a planned academic building to house the new engineering technology and energy engineering technology programs.