The Texas State University System, along with the Kirksey team, celebrated a significant milestone yesterday, the system’s first LEED Gold certified building. The recently completed Residence Life North Housing dormitory was awarded 43 points, surpassing the 39 needed to achieve Gold in the LEED for New Construction V2.2 rating system.

In accordance with the campus master plan guidelines, the Kirksey team designed a Spanish Colonial style building housing 612 beds in two identical wings. Of the construction materials used, more than 30% contain recycled content and more than 27% are from regional sources. In addition, 80% of construction waste was recycled.

Inside the building, green technology is utilized to ensure that little is wasted or produced in excess. Occupancy sensors are used in study rooms and lounges to control lighting output, low-flow showerheads reduce water use to only 1.5 gallons per minute, and all toilets are low-flush, using just 1.3 gallons per flush.

Outside, rainwater and air conditioning condensation are collected in an underground cistern, reducing potable water usage for irrigation by 100 percent. Additionally, native plants were chosen for landscaping purposes, further reducing the demand for potable water.

Complementing the building's ongoing energy efficiency and water conservation, low emitting materials were specified for use during construction, thereby reducing the volatile off-gassing chemicals found in newer projects.

Air quality improvement is achieved through the use of walk-off mats at the front and rear entrances, reducing the amount of dirt tracked inside the building. Today’s students are more environmentally aware than ever before and this housing complex provides them an interactive opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable future.