Oxford College announced today that East Village, its student residential complex completed in 2008, has been awarded a LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold rating. East Village is Emory University’s first newly constructed building to achieve the gold level of certification; in 2005 the Goizueta Business School received a gold-level LEED-EB, which is awarded to existing buildings.
“We have eagerly awaited the final LEED certification for East Village,” said Stephen H. Bowen, dean of Oxford College,“and we are extremely pleased and proud that this beautiful and innovative residence hall has been awarded a gold-level ranking. This is an emblem of the value that Emory University and Oxford College place upon sustainable practices.”
LEED designation is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools and neighborhoods. LEED candidates must apply for consideration and undergo a rigorous review of their construction and design. There are four levels of designation: certified, silver, gold and platinum.
A highlight of East Village’s green design is an innovative storm-water system. Rainwater is collected from the roof and the surrounding streets using a series of artful and aesthetic catchments. These include granite-cobble splash pads, which direct the water into areas where a special soil mixture and selected vegetation filter contaminants and allow the water to percolate back into the ground, recharging the aquifer. Rainwater from the roof of the main lobby flows from a rain leader into a decorative basin, which quickly fills and cascades into a circular pool in East Village’s central wooded courtyard, where it is then piped to an underground cistern. The cistern, which holds 20,000 gallons, is used to irrigate the surrounding grounds during dry periods.
As a LEED Gold building, East Village is a living lesson in sustainable practices for its residents and other students, but its design also includes space for literal classrooms. A modern kitchen facility in the commons area is large enough to accommodate cooking classes, where sustainable food choices and healthy preparation can be demonstrated. Other features include the use of natural daylight, low-flow plumbing fixtures and a highly efficient heating and cooling system.
East Village opened in fall 2008 and accommodates approximately 350 students.