Franklin Residential College awarded for environmentally friendly design

Story by Alicia Steele, Assistant News Editor

Franklin Residential College is the first building on campus to be awarded gold certification by LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – for it’s environmentally friendly design and construction process.

“MSU strives to be environmentally ‘friendly’ in sustainability efforts, long-term respect for the environment, energy efficient activities, and, of course, constructing or renovating buildings that are environmentally functional in design and use,” said David Burdette, interim chief facilities officer.

Jason Youngblood, assistant director of facilities design and construction, said LEED is awarded on a points system, which can be earned by adhering to certain guidelines in terms of construction and amenities. However, in some cases they opted to forgo the point.

“We could have opted to try to achieve a higher point total for water savings, such as lower flow faucets, showers and toilets,” Youngblood said. “However, we decided that would create more maintenance and service call issues.”

He said the building still has low flow water sources, but to a level that they felt would better meet the needs of students, which is higher than the requirements for that particular point.

Additionally, they decided to forgo the point that required no upward lighting – which causes light pollution – in order to have lights on the front of the building to highlight the architectural features.

Points can also be earned for certain steps during the construction project which, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, include things such as storage and collection of recyclables, utilizing regional materials and using certified wood. However, Youngblood said some of these points were unable to be fulfilled because of the geographical location of Murray, Kentucky.

The state requirement is to achieve a silver rating, which Youngblood said was the goal for Franklin Residential College. However, the additional steps taken to ensure the silver certification were accepted and pushed them to gold.

“The Gold achievement is testament to all who worked on design, management and construction of a Residence Hall that will stand the test of time for the environment,” Burdette said.