Campus Initiatives: Buildings: Numen Lumen Pavilion

The Numen Lumen Pavilion includes office space for the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life as well as a circular sacred space, multi-purpose room, meditation space, classroom and meeting and study rooms. The round, two-story sacred space features tall windows and a balcony and is adaptive to many types of worship. It may also be combined with the multi-purpose room for larger gatherings. Per the University’s Green Building Policy, the facility was designed and constructed to be a high performance sustainable building using the LEED standard and received LEED Silver certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an internationally recognized benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

Project Summary

The Numen Lumen Pavilion is the seventh and final building in the Academic Village. Construction of the 15,508 square foot facility began in the summer of 2012 and concluded in February 2013. This Multifaith Center is a place for prayer, meditation and reflection for all members of the Elon Community. An outdoor meditation garden is located between the Numen Lumen Pavilion and the Gray Pavilion.

Sustainable Sites

Elon has several different methods of alternative transportation that Numen Lumen Pavilion visitors and occupants can access. It is within walking distance of many commonly used buildings on campus such as Belk Library, Moseley Center and the Koury Athletic Center. In addition, Elon BioBus stations are within a short walking distance. There, students can catch the BioBus routes, which service local apartments, shopping centers and community service locations. As with most buildings on Elon’s campus, bike racks are also provided. The green space, pedestrian walkways and meditation garden encourage the use of outdoor space.

Water Efficiency

The Numen Lumen Pavilion has low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout the building. The lavatory faucets use 0.5 gallons of water per minute and sensors control how long they operate. The toilets are dual-flush, and the urinals use only 1 pint of water per flush. The low-flow plumbing fixtures are expected to reduce the building’s potable water usage by 42% or 60,000 gallons/year.

The landscaping around the building is designed to minimize the need for irrigation. When it is needed, the automatic irrigation system is supplied with reclaimed stormwater collected in the ponds located on campus.

Energy Efficiency

Several energy efficiency strategies were implemented in the Numen Lumen Pavilion. The building is 18% more efficient than a building that just meets the standard building energy code.

Features contributing to the building’s energy efficiency include Energy Star qualified windows and layers of building insulation, which keep the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  The energy efficient components of the mechanical system include high efficiency condensing boilers, air cooled chillers able to meet variable cooling needs, variable frequency drives on fan and pump motors, temperature set-back capability for unoccupied hours and a split-dehumidification system.

The lighting systems in the building are also energy efficient and incorporate controllability, occupancy sensors and efficient fluorescent and LED lamps. In addition, the electrical usage in the building is metered including sub meters for lighting, mechanical and plug uses, which will allow for accurate monitoring and scheduling adjustment as needed.

Materials and Resources

Products containing recycled content were used as much as possible, such as concrete, steel and drywall, to reduce the need for virgin building materials. Approximately 25 percent of the building materials (based on cost) contain recycled content. The drywall contains 95% pre-consumer recycled content and 5% post-consumer recycled content. Many of the steel products used contain over 50% post-consumer recycled content material. 

Regional materials were also used as much as possible to reduce the impact of transporting building materials and to support the regional economy. Based on cost, about 32% of the building materials were regionally sourced, including cement, steel, brick and drywall. 

Wood from the trees that were removed from the site was used for some of the building’s interior furnishings, such as the podium and tables in the sacred space and bookcases in the library.

During the construction of the Numen Lumen Pavilion, over 95 percent of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill for recycling and/or reuse.

Like every building on Elon’s campus, the building has recycling bins throughout. Elon’s recycling program accepts all kinds of paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metals (aluminum beverage cans, steel food cans).

Indoor Environmental Quality

An essential component of the Numen Lumen Pavilion was providing excellent indoor environmental quality in the design and construction of the building as it contributes to the health and productivity of the building occupants.

Great care was taken during construction to ensure the building and its systems were kept clean and free of contaminants benefiting the construction workers and the eventual building occupants and users.

During construction, ductwork was kept covered to prevent debris from accumulating, and a special sweeping compound was used to minimize dust. The adhesives, sealants, paints, flooring systems and composite wood products used in the building contain low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Low VOC products allow for better indoor air quality during and after construction.

The HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system and building envelope were designed to meet thermal comfort standards to promote the productivity and well-being of occupants. In addition, thermostats are provided to allow occupants to adjust the temperature to suit their personal thermal comfort needs within a pre-defined range. A post-occupancy survey will be conducted to assess the thermal comfort of the building’s occupants.

Many of the spaces in the Numen Lumen Pavilion have natural light, which reduces the need for artificial light. Daylighting (natural light) has also been shown to improve occupant well-being and productivity. Adjustable light levels allow occupants to take full advantage of the natural light and adjust light levels to suit their needs.

The floor mats at all primary entrances prevent dust and other contaminants on shoes from entering the building. All rooms with chemical use, such as the copy rooms, are directly exhausted to the outside to prevent occupants from being exposed to any chemical smells.

Several of the furniture pieces in the Numen Lumen Pavilion are GREENGUARD certified, meaning they have been tested by a third party and verified to contain low amounts of chemicals and particle emissions and have met acceptable indoor air quality guidelines and standards. GREENGUARD certification is a voluntary program used primarily by commercial/institutional furniture manufacturers.

Innovation and Design Process

This category within LEED recognizes exceptional performance and innovative strategies not covered in previous categories.

The project's high percentage of regional materials (32%) earned recognition in this category as did the exceptional waste diversion rate (98%).

The University’s green cleaning program is utilized in the Numen Lumen Pavilion. Green cleaning improves indoor air quality, occupant health and well-being and is better for the environment.

The Numen Lumen Pavilion will be added to Elon’s online real-time electricity monitoring system (Building Dashboard). This system will allow occupants, as well as anyone else, to view and track the utility consumption in the building. Providing this information is part of the educational program for this building as is this web site and providing tours. If you would like a tour focusing on the sustainable features of the Numen Lumen Pavilion, please contact us.