The $13-million, 41,500-sq-ft Berea College Deep Green Residence Hall is among the first facilities in Kentucky to meet sustainable design's Living Building Challenge.

Among other objectives, the challenge seeks to eliminate environmentally hazardous materials from the built environment and requires a 99% product composition disclosure. To comply with a "red list" of prohibited materials and chemicals, including those employed during manufacture, team members appointed an onsite expert to educate suppliers and subcontractors about the program and ensure all products met program requirements.

In one instance, a zero polyvinyl chloride policy resulted in bulkier cable in order to meet code.

While LEED-certified projects typically source 20% of materials within 500 miles, Berea sourced more than 49% of materials within the same distance.

Team members also recycled 89% of project waste, exceeding requirements of both LEED and the challenge. While excavated rock was used by a local church, excess bricks, porcelain and ceramic tile were recycled into masonry. A local farm deployed excess drywall to clean a feeding trough.

The 123-bed facility achieved LEED-Platinum certification with a total of 90 points. The threshold for Platinum is 80 points.

Berea College Deep Green Residence Hall, Berea, Ky.

Key Players

Owner Berea College, Berea, Ky.

General Contractor Messer Construction Co., Cincinnati

DESIGNER Hastings+Chivetta Architects Inc., St. Louis