University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Lion’s Den student housing has been awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification according to a notice by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor, said the two-year certification process is a significant testimony to the University’s commitment to its community and its students.
“This is clear evidence that the University is determined to be an advocate for the environment and for the comfort and finances of its students,” Beran said. “LEED Certification of its student housing shows how committed it is to that policy.
Mark Horn of Fort Smith, UAFS vice chancellor for university relations, was instrumental in moving UAFS toward the certification.
“This globally-recognized LEED green building certification system is third-party verification of our policy,” Horn said. “It verifies our pursuit of energy efficiency advantages, use of re-cycled materials, indoor air quality, regionally-sourced materials and drought-resistant landscaping,”
The Lion’s Den, which is located at the corner of Waldron Rd. and Kinkead Ave., has 446 beds and was opened in August 2010. It was designed by Allison Architecture of Fayetteville. Flintco Inc. was the contractor for the project, with Sodexo Inc., the university’s food services manager, running the dining hall.
“We live in a world of finite resources and we need to be good stewards of the resources we have,” Horn said. “Whether you go for LEED certification or not, this is the responsible way to build.”
Horn said even though there is a cost associated with the process of green construction, when life-cycle economies of a building are considered, the paybacks in the efficiencies usually offset the cost.
Dr. Lee Krehbiel, vice chancellor for student affairs, said this building takes the concept of “stewardship” out of the classroom and into everyday life.
“We have some pretty sophisticated heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in these buildings,” he said. “And that makes for a very enjoyable place to live.”
“This says were good from all three standpoints of comfort, stewardship and financial considerations,” he said.
Beth Eppinger, director of student housing and residential life, said the LEED certification is another attractive facet of the university.
“Students really enjoy living in the Lion’s Den for several reasons including the bright and spacious lounges and the efficient bathroom fixtures. Having student housing that’s acknowledged as ‘award-winning green’ in its construction and operation is just another way students can feel UAFS is a great place to learn, lead and live,” Eppinger said.