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Lafayette College's Grossman House recognized for sustainability

Published On: Aug 16 2013 12:13:34 PM EDT
Lafayette College's Grossman House

Lafayette College

Lafayette College's Grossman House


One local college can now boast of its first LEED-certified building.

Lafayette College's Grossman House has received national recognition for sustainability.

The building was built in 1915 as a fraternity house but now serves as a new living option as the Grossman House for Global Perspectives.


“It’s been said that ‘the greenest building is one you don’t have to build,’” says Mary Wilford-Hunt, director of facilities planning and construction. “By adaptively reusing an existing building, we were able to bring this striking old gem in the heart of the Lafayette campus back to life in a sustainable way.”

Grossman House has been awarded LEED-CI Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for leadership in energy and environmental design, and is an internationally recognized standard that promotes sustainability in building design, construction and operation.

The renovated Grossman House has many energy and water saving features including windows that reflect heat, reducing the energy needed to heat and cool the building, and a storm water retention tank that uses captured rainwater to flush toilets.

In addition, most of the building materials were purchased from sustainable and green manufacturers, and during demolition all steel, aluminum, wood, and concrete were recycled.

A dashboard in the building’s lobby monitors energy use, allowing residents and visitors to see how much energy is consumed.

This screen provides “real time” readouts of actual energy use for water, electricity, steam and gas, allowing residents to better understand how their actions impact the depletion of natural resources and motivating them to conserve energy.

According to the college's website, Grossman House as a living community allows students to design their own programming with the guidance of faculty advisers to explore globalization and what it means to live in a multicultural world.