Southern Poly Housing Village Seeking LEED for Homes

by Katie Sloan

The 10 small buildings are applying for one of the USGBC’s newest LEED programs


© Thomas Watkins Photography

Marietta, Ga. — Earlier this fall, construction was completed for University Columns at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta. The project consists of 10 houses, each with a 12-bed capacity, which were designed for Greek chapters and other student clubs and organizations. The project is now applying for LEED-Silver certification under LEED for Homes, one of the U.S. Green Building Council’s newest LEED subsets.

LEED for Homes was launched as a way to certify the sustainability of single-family homes and small multifamily buildings. Since each of the buildings consists of two-story, wood-framed construction, the project’s developer, Ambling University Development, thought it more appropriate to go this route rather than the LEED – New Construction program.

The buildings that make up University Columns are designed to achieve a 16 percent annual energy savings through energy-efficient HVAC systems and a high-performance building envelope. Inside, the use of low-VOC materials and fresh-air ventilation creates an ideal environment. Environmentally preferred building materials were also used in construction. Outside, drought-tolerant and native landscaping was used, and a high-efficiency irrigation system was installed.

In addition to the residential buildings, University Columns contains a community center that is seeking Silver-level certification under Southface’s Earthcraft Light Commercial Program. Niles Bolton was the project architect, and Juneau Construction was the general contractor.

Since part of the LEED certification process consists of looking at building performance, official certification of University Columns will most likely come next year.

— Coleman Wood

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