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Laurel Hall is Storrs’ ‘Greenest’ Building

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013

Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 17:08

Laural Hall


Laurel Hall, originally called “Classroom Building,” received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification. The building is the most “green” building on the Storrs campus. Other buildings being considered for LEED certifications include McMahon Dining Hall, Oak Hall and Torrey Life Sciences Building.


Laurel Hall, formerly known as the Classroom Building, is now the “greenest” building on UConn’s campus after receiving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification.

A gold LEED certification means Laurel Hall was designed and built to be as ecofriendly as possible. Some of the factors considered in the gold LEED certification include reduced operating costs, reduced use of energy and water, less waste and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, according to Skanska USA, the company that constructed Laurel Hall.

“Laurel Hall’s LEED gold certification demonstrates green building leadership,” said Al Gogolin, senior vice president of Skanska USA, and overseer of building operations in Connecticut. “Reaching this distinguished status is a true testament to the hard work and collaboration of the team who worked on this project, including our partners, the campus officials, planners, designers and architects.”

He added that constructing efficient, highly sustainable buildings is part of Skanska’s DNA and that they couldn’t be more proud to have helped one of the nation’s leading institutions achieve this recognition.

Some of Laurel Hall’s significant green features include the use bamboo and recycled copper, renewable resources, the use of slate flooring throughout the building and permeable pavement, which removes pollution from storm water runoff. Laurel Hall also has a 6,500 square foot green roof.

Skanska USA implemented many building techniques to contribute to the gold LEED certification. 32 percent of the materials used for construction originated from within 500 miles of Storrs. Skanska USA focused on staying local. Additionally, 23 percent of the building material came from recycled items. Finally, there was a 94.3 percent reduction in landfill waste throughout the construction of Laurel Hall.

The construction of Laurel Hall is just a part of UConn’s overall commitment to the environment, especially in the buildings around campus.

UConn recently replaced the lighting systems of 73 buildings and completed “retro-commissioning” projects in 13 buildings, which improved their HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems to operate at maximum efficiency, according to Rich Miller, director of the Office of Environmental Policy at UConn.

The Charles B. Gentry Building, the Burton Family Football Complex and Mark R. Shenkman Training Center both hold silver LEED certifications. Oak Hall, the Carolyn Ladd Widmer Wing of Storrs Hall, the renovation of McMahon Dining Hall, the renovation of Wilfred B. Young Building and Torrey Life Sciences Building, are all also being considered for LEED certifications.  

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