Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

Arnett Hall Receives LEED Gold Certification


Completed in August 2014, Arnett Hall is the newest residence hall and building on campus. Located at the corner of 6th and Bertona, Arnett houses up to 150 students. In recognition of its sustainable design and construction, Arnett was recently awarded LEED Gold certification.

Arnett Hall was certified under the new LEED for Home Mid-rise Multi-Family category, which places a high emphasis on durability, occupant awareness, and energy performance. Arnett joins Eaton Hall and the Cremona Classrooms as LEED-certified buildings on the SPU campus, and SPU is committed to achieving a minimum of LEED Silver certification on all new construction. LEED certification involves verifying that a building was designed and constructed to achieve various credits in categories such as building materials, location, energy, landscaping, water efficiency, and air quality measures for the building. Meeting specific requirements can improve the level certification that the building receives, whether through an upgrade in material quality or additional energy-saving features. Here are a few points to highlight:

Dual flush

High efficiency fixtures and irrigation: The reduction of indoor water use and using less for the outdoor landscaping is one factor that contributes to certification. One way this is put into place is with dual flush toilets in every bathroom that allow for less water use when flushing liquid waste.

Energy Performance: The fixtures installed help to reduce energy usage as well. Through heating efficiency and electricity saving, cost and energy reduction is 18.7%! These savings are calculated in comparison to a baseline building standard and are savings that will continue in the years to come.

Awareness and education: A different feature that most people wouldn’t think about in having an energy-efficient building is teaching the residents about all of the features. Educating the residents about how to understand and operate these features is a goal for SPU, not only to help students feel more at home, but to make the most of all of the features to really save energy and keep Arnett operating at its best.  SPU educates residents through a manual produced to highlight features specific to the residents and how to manage their resource consumption.

In addition to the above characteristics contributing to Arnett’s LEED certification, SPU partnered with Seattle City Light to receive incentives through the utility’s Built Smart program, which helped to fund upgrades to more efficient lighting, bathroom fans, and appliances. Arnett is also part of the City’s Green Up energy program, with all of its electricity provided by Green-e certified renewable resources and a portion of electricity bills dedicated to supporting renewable energy projects in the Pacific Northwest.

One last feature that is personally my favorite is the green roof. At first, I had no idea why a green roof mattered, or what it even was. After some research though, I realized the impacts can be huge. Green roofs help to reduce the Heat Island effect that happens in urban areas. This is where traditional roofs and streets absorb solar energy in heat, retain it, and then slowly release it back into the atmosphere when the temperature decreases. This causes an overall increase in temperature that can cause harmful effects, the biggest being stress on the ecosystems in the surrounding areas. Green roofs can also improve storm-water quality by filtering it through the plants that are growing, as well as preventing the overflow of storm drains during the downpour that can happen from time to time in Seattle.Green roof

For more information about Arnett, check out the Resident Operations Manual and Sustainability Guide, or the Projects section of the Facilities website.


Author: Lauren

SPU Student

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