Village granted LEED certification

Oswego State welcomed the 2010-2011 school year with a present for upperclassmen and graduate students; The Village was completed. After its completion, it was awarded a gold certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes Program (LEED).

Certification for the Village technically started during the 2000-2001 academic year, when President Deborah Stanley signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Designing the Village took place during the 2005-2006 academic year, with the building opening this past year.

LEED awards points to buildings in order for them to receive certification. The points are out of 100 and extra points can be given out. Any new building has to have at least a silver rating from LEED, which is a score of 50 and above. The Village received a gold rating, which is 60 points and above. Extra credit was awarded due to there being about half as many parking spots as there are students living in the Village. To check the points, a checklist was made and viewed, to make sure that the building had the correct amount of points.

Steps taken to guarantee a silver ranking include six inches of structurally insulated panels (SIPs), which keep the building heated or cooled, depending on the weather. The Village also has high efficiency appliances, such as washers and toilets, special showers and energy saving lights. Another feature is that students can control how much energy they use, such as by turning down the heat when it’s not needed, which cannot be done in the dorms.

Other than having to adjust to the eco-friendly Village, residents had to go through an orientation, which was "centered around the LEED aspects of the community," said Village hall director Rafael Villamil. Being educated on "sustainable" living and how to put it into real life is also another part in keeping up the certification.

Junior Allain Daigle spoke on his view of the Village.

"My carbon footprint isn’t the first thing that I think about when I think of my townhouse, but the presence of eco-friendly perks in the townhouse have made me a little more aware of the environmental implications – even if it’s just a small shift," she said.