Posted in projects
on October 20, 2015 10:11 am EDT
Southern Methodist University Building Receives LEED Gold
Collegiate Georgian architectural style building, the first academic building on a Texas university campus and only the second 100-year-old building in the U.S., achieves LEED Gold Certification.
SMU, with help from The Beck Group, achieves contemporary sustainability standards in Dallas Hall, a 100-year-old building. Dallas Hall image courtesy of SMU.
“This was an unusual project for us because we were able to certify a building completed in 1915 to meet sustainability standards that didn’t exist when it was new.”
—Philip Jabour, SMU Associate Vice President and University Architect, Office of Facilities Planning and Management
SMU’s Dallas Hall, the oldest building on a campus known for its distinctive Collegiate Georgian architectural style, is the first academic building on a Texas university campus and only the second 100-year-old building in the United States to achieve LEED Gold Certification for the operation and maintenance of an existing building.
“Southern Methodist University is very active in the LEED program, and we have earned LEED Gold status in the construction of many of our newest buildings,” reports Philip Jabour, SMU associate vice president and university architect for the Office of Facilities Planning and Management. “This was an unusual project for us because we were able to certify a building completed in 1915 to meet sustainability standards that didn’t exist when it was new.”
It took three years to complete Dallas Hall after the laying of its cornerstone on Thanksgiving Day in 1912. The domed structure was inspired by the Roman Pantheon, and by the library Thomas Jefferson designed for the University of Virginia. When SMU opened in 1915 Dallas Hall housed the entire university, including classrooms, offices, a library, a hamburger grill, science labs, piano practice rooms, a chapel, a barber shop, a post office, and a mummy that previously had been exhibited at the State Fair of Texas.
“We are celebrating our SMU Centennial,” Jabour says, “so we are quite proud that the oldest, most iconic, and arguably best-loved building on our campus is the newest to earn LEED Gold status.”LEEDership
LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a building certification program sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council based in Washington, D.C., that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. The Beck Group served as the LEED consultant on the SMU project, providing sustainability services that led to the certification.
“We are proud to ensure that this historic building continues to have a positive effect on the environment for the next 100 years,” says Norma Lehman, The Beck Group’s director of sustainability. “SMU continues to demonstrate a long-term commitment to sustainability. Through our partnership we were able to build on sustainable initiatives already in place and advance energy and water conservation to the next level. SMU’s investment is a model for other campuses.”