Experts Brainstorm on Sustainable Features for New Student Commons

On Jan. 28, faculty and students from Manhattan College, architects, engineers and consultants gathered to discuss the sustainable vision for the new student commons.

On Jan. 28, faculty and students from Manhattan College, architects, engineers and consultants gathered in Memorial Hall to discuss the sustainable vision for the new five-story, 67,400 square-foot student commons. In particular, the three-hour brainstorming session set goals to ensure that the new building will meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and it will further have a significant green presence on the campus.

Powell Draper, Ph.D., civil and environmental engineering professor at Manhattan, and former civil engineering student Ryan Conry ’10, Marisa Chee, a senior and civil engineering major, Michael Borger, a senior and management major, and Stanley Rosenkampff, a civil engineering graduate student, were asked to attend the intensive workshop to collaborate on a variety of topics, including the building’s relationship to: community, site, site water, water use, energy, materials, health, controllability and much more. The Manhattan representatives as well as Robert Mahan, vice president for facilities management, met with the architects from Perkins Eastman and Edward I. Mills, engineers from EME Group, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services and Syska Hennessy Group, and consultants from Community Environmental Center.

The day commenced with a brief introduction and history of the student commons project and with the architects presenting floor plans and design renderings. In the late-morning, the team broke into smaller groups and talked in depth about various ways that the student commons can be more green, such as, using non-toxic materials, building a green roof, using local products during construction, recycling 90 percent of the run-off water and much more.

During the afternoon portion of the workshop, the team went through the LEED certification program, which is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The team examined the LEED checklist and credit assignments and compared the list to the earlier green goals they had set, and determined that Manhattan College’s new student commons could make a commitment of reaching LEED gold certification.

Stay tuned to learn more about the student commons and Manhattan faculty and student involvement in ensuring a sustainable student commons.