Berndt Hall Reconstruction for Biology at Fort Lewis College
Located in Durango, Colorado, Fort Lewis College (FLC) is a public college that offers high quality baccalaureate liberal arts education to a diverse student population. The 2011 edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges profiled FLC for its demonstration of strong commitment to sustainability in its academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.
Named for the third president of the college, Berndt Hall is composed of several wings that were constructed in stages. This project removed the middle of an existing 1-story section of the building and replaced it with a basement, main level, and second floor with a mechanical penthouse above. The reconstructed building houses the Biology and Agriculture Departments. It contains 10 teaching laboratories, 19 faculty offices, a departmental office, support spaces, and a greenhouse divided in 4 distinct areas. The building occupies a footprint of 12,362 square feet with a gross square footage of 31,355 and opened to students in January 2010.
The project earned LEED Gold in January 2011, making it the second building on Fort Lewis College’s campus to earn LEED certification. Pursuit of LEED certification for Berndt Hall is an outcome of former President Brad Bartel’s signing of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in April 2007. Berndt Hall incorporates numerous integrated green building strategies including demand controlled ventilation, extensive use of daylight, two active solar thermal systems, water conserving fixtures, and sustainable materials use. A green building profile created as part of a Green Building Education innovation credit for the project’s LEED certification details the specific high performance building approaches. In 2011, the project was nominated for an Innovation in Green Building Award from the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council.
From 2007 – 2011, Earthly Ideas consulted with Fort Lewis College on LEED certification for Berndt Hall Reconstruction for Biology, Animas Hall, and Student Union Addition. We coordinated sustainability efforts among these three projects and assisted with the development of campus-wide sustainability initiatives in support of the campus’ Sustainability Action Plan. We also assisted FLC staff in developing their LEED documentation for these initiatives. As part of the Green Building Education innovation credit, we worked closely with FLC students, faculty, and staff to develop a coordinated signage program with consistent imaging and specific messages related to the green building features of each building. While informing occupants on a daily basis, the signs can be used by visitors as a self-guided tour. Additionally for Berndt Hall, Earthly Ideas served as the sustainability and LEED information resource for the design and construction team, reviewed drawings and specifications, and provided project management support to the design and construction team for the LEED certification process. Managing Principal Michelle Reott has been a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Environmental Affairs at FLC since 2004.