The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that the Robert A.M. Stern Architects-designed Benton Hall, Colgate University's newest campus building, achieved LEED Platinum Certification, the highest level attainable in the organization's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. Benton Hall is Colgate's first building to achieve LEED Platinum status.
"The main factors that led to Platinum certification were the robust envelope design and the building’s efficient energy systems that cut overall consumption rates and increased visitor comfort and satisfaction with the space," said Colgate's Project Manager Joe Inman. Benton Hall's highly-efficient exterior envelope employs triple-glazed windows with thermal breaks. Lowered lighting levels and LED light sources contribute to nearly 60% less energy use overall than the LEED baseline, with a 52% overall energy cost savings. The building's roof is composed of twelve-inch Structural Insulated Panels (SIP); air-tight construction was verified through blower-door testing. In addition, generous use of bluestone sourced within a 500-mile radius of Colgate’s campus and the recycling or salvaging of 75% of the building’s construction waste contributed to Benton Hall’s LEED Platinum rating.
Completed in 2018, Benton Hall, the new 16,600-square-foot home of Colgate University's Center for Career Services, sits on the northeast corner of the historic Academic Quad on the University’s bucolic Hamilton, New York, campus. Visitors enter Benton Hall's lower level through an entrance facing Oak Drive; students enter through an entrance on the building's upper level, facing the campus Quad. The building unites under one roof its Career Services, the Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships, and the Thought Into Action entrepreneurship program, providing integrated postgraduate exploration and planning to undergraduate students. With its many flexible public rooms and spaces, Benton Hall serves as a vibrant hub for networking events, information sessions, and entrepreneur team workshops, as well as academic classes, seminars, lectures, exhibitions, and performances. Our firm also designed two residence halls for Colgate, which are currently nearing completion.
The USGBC's LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings, with around 1.85 million square feet being certified daily. LEED works for all buildings—from homes to corporate headquarters—at all phases of development. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several areas that address sustainability issues. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Eighty out of 110 possible points were attempted for Benton Hall with all attempted points awarded. RAMSA Partners Robert A.M. Stern, Graham S. Wyatt, and Preston J. Gumberich led the design team.