Model Green Rooms
UofL is retrofitting various rooms around campus to serve as models for sustainable design principles.
UofL's model Green Dorm Room opened in Louisville Hall (Room 605) in Fall 2009 but was first developed as a challenge to 10 students in Jamie Horwitz's Spring 2009 Sustainable Architecture course. At the request of Russ Barnett, director of research and development for the Kentucky Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development, these students gave their input to design the room as a model of sustainable living on campus. Turning the students' conceptual design into an actual dorm room was made possible with a $5,000 grant from Arts and Sciences Dean Blaine Hudson.
Certain features distinguish this room from any other on campus. These differences are much more sustainable and aesthetically pleasing:
- The floors are made of bamboo, a faster-growing and more sustainable alternative than wood, synthetic flooring or carpet.
- One wall is covered in clay, a natural building material which has insulating properties, improves air quality by catching dust, and is easier to repair and maintain.
- Large windows let in plenty of natural light, eliminating the need to use electric lights during the day.
- A ceiling fan helps regulate temperatures more efficiently.
- A low-flow showerhead and toilet, as well as an aerator on the faucet, has cut water use by about 50 percent.
With high ceilings, large windows and the several distinctive "green" characteristics, the room is more like a modern, innovative, energy efficient living space than a typical dorm.Residents of the model green dorm room participate actively in the Housing Green Committee, act as sustainability leaders within the community, and welcome tours to demonstrate sustainable living principles.
- Read more about the student design process.
- Read more about the experience of living in the green dorm room: UofL Green Scene.
In 2010, UofL Interior Architecture students were again engaged in the next model green room design challenge: The conference room for Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences in Gardiner Hall, Room 230. The project moved to implementation during the Fall of 2010, with support from the Kentuckiana Chapter of Hazardous Materials Managers (KCHMM) who dedicated UofL's model green conference room during a special ceremony at KCHMM's annual gathering on November 3rd, 2010. The room features:
- Natural day-lighting from a large window, eliminating the need to use electric lights during the day.
- A ceiling fan to help regulate temperatures more efficiently.
- Modular carpet tiles which allow for easy replacement of only the worn portions, without having to dispose of the entire carpet.
- High-efficiency florescent lights with motion sensors for automatic shut off when the room is unoccupied.
- Durable ceiling tiles made of recycled plastic which will not sag or stain like conventional ceiling tiles.
- Green certified furnishings.
Model Green Office
In the spring of 2012, the Department of Urban & Public Affairs launched an effort to perform a low-cost, green renovation on the Department Chair's office based on designs from another class of UofL Interior Architecture students. The final renovation includes the following green elements in Room 100 of the Urban Studies Institute (426 W. Bloom St.):
- Treadmill desk
- Shades and window tinting for energy conservation
- Hypoallergenic carpet made from at least 35% recycled fibers
- Wooly pockets (wall hanging plants)
- Paint containing no volatile organic compounds (VOC)
- Repurposed furniture
- Eliminated large, energy-hog refrigerator
Read More: Professor gets green office makeover (UofL Today, Aug. 20, 2013)
The Sustainability Council hopes to see this program expand to include more Model Green Spaces around campus - from labs to classrooms to clinics!