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Colonnades residence halls earn LEED Gold certification

Three buildings mark the 15th, 16th and 17th LEED-certified structures on campus.

From left: Kivette Hall, William W. Staley Hall and William A. Harper Hall. The three Elon University buildings have received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Three residence halls in the Colonnades neighborhood have received LEED Gold recognition from the U.S. Green Buidling Council, bringing the total amount of enviornmentally sustainable certified campus building space to more than 250,000 square feet. 

Kivette Hall, William W. Staley Hall and William A. Harper Hall - formerly known as Colonnades C, D and E - provide student housing, common space and office space for Residence Life's Colonnades neighborhood office.

The neighborhood is now the second residential area independently recognized for how resources can be used efficiently during construction and operation to achieve a high quality of living while maintaining a focus on the environment. Four houses at the Station at Mill Point earned LEED for Homes Platinum certification earlier this year.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is an internationally recognized standard for sustainable design and construction. Buildings receive the distinction based on criteria for sustainable site consideration, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials use and disposal, indoor environmental quality and innovation.

One of the most unique features of the Colonnades complex is the geothermal field that serves as its primary source for heating and cooling. Through a closed loop system of underground piping and a series of heat pumps, the system utilizes the Earth’s near-constant temperature to maintain building comfort.

The system, along with insulation, efficient lighting, high performance windows, energy recovery ventilators and occupancy sensors, results in building energy consumption that is 34-44 percent lower than buildings that meet the standard energy code.

The halls have features similar to those in other campus LEED-certified buildings.

Selected LEED features in the Colonnades Residence Halls:


  • Preferred parking spaces are available to low-emitting vehicles (LEV) (this includes more than hybrids!)
  • Storm water management plan minimizes storm water run-off and reduces stream erosion

Water Efficiency (44%)

  • Low-flow faucets and dual flush toilets
  • Landscaping has been designed to minimize irrigation and the water supply for the irrigation system is collected storm water

Energy Efficiency (34-44%)

  • Insulation, efficient lighting, high performance windows, energy recovery ventilators and occupancy sensors conserve energy use
  • The primary source of heating and cooling is a geothermal system


  • About 20 percent of building materials were extracted, harvested, recovered or manufactured within 500 miles of the project
  • 90 percent of construction waste was diverted from the landfill

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Dust minimization precautions were taken during construction and entry mats are in place
  • Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) products were used throughout the building and some furniture is GREENGUARD certified


  • Sustainable Living Guide available to students
  • Building Dashboard can be used to monitor real-time energy consumption

For more details regarding the specific LEED features of the Colonnades residence halls, visit the Office of Sustainability website. For more information on Elon’s sustainable construction practices, review the Green Building Policy.

Eric Townsend,
7/11/2013 12:00 PM