The Station at Mill Point, Elon University’s newest residential community, provides 324 upperclassmen with an off-campus experience while remaining a part of the university community. The village contains 24 residential buildings and a depot building and is located on Williamson Avenue across from the Town of Elon fire station. The depot building achieved LEED Silver certification. Four of the residential buildings received LEED for Homes Gold certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an internationally recognized standard for sustainable design and construction.
The 5,091 square foot depot building provides residents with a fitness center, meeting rooms and social space. It also serves as the community office for Residence Life staff. Construction began in September of 2011 and is scheduled to be complete in August 2012.
The Station at Mill Point is a short walk from Elon’s campus allowing residents to access University resources without a vehicle such as the McEwen Dining Hall and McEwen School of Communications. The Town of Elon is also just a short walk from the Station at Mill Point providing access to a post office and restaurants. In addition starting in the 12-13 academic year, an Elon BioBus stop will be nearby providing an alternative transportation option for students getting to campus. From the main campus stop, students can access other BioBus routes. Bike racks will also be provided throughout the community to encourage alternative transportation.
There are several low-emitting fuel-efficient vehicle parking spaces located in the parking lot for the Station at Mill Point. LEVs include non-hybrid and hybrid models. They have been classified as Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) by the California Air Resources Board or have achieved a minimum green score of 40 on the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) annual vehicle rating guide. To learn more about these vehicles and to find out if you drive one, visit www.greenercars.org. An LEV permit is required to park in these spaces and can be obtained from the Traffic Office.
The Station at Mill Point was designed to offer outdoor space for residents to enjoy. About 40% of the site is open space. Outdoor recreation space, an amphitheater and extensive open space support healthy well-being for residents. Substantial stormwater management controls are in place to greatly reduce the amount of stormwater that leaves the site and to ensure the quality of what does leave the site.
Within the depot building, high efficiency plumbing fixtures were installed to meet the needs of the residents and reduce potable water consumption. Dual flush toilets and low-flow faucets were installed. As a result, there is a 30% reduction in potable water usage from a standard baseline. The planting beds will have a drip irrigation system while grass areas will be irrigated with a highly efficient spray system that includes timers and moisture sensors. These efforts will reduce potable water usage for irrigation.
The depot building is 27% more energy efficient than a building that meets the standard energy code. A number of strategies contribute to this efficiency including a mechanical system with energy recovery ventilators, high levels of insulation, high performance windows and efficient lighting. The lighting also has occupancy sensors and adjustable levels. The utilities are metered, which will enable building level usage to be monitored.
Products containing recycled content were used as much as possible such as carpet and drywall to reduce the need for virgin building materials. About 11% of the building materials (based on cost) contain recycled content.
The use of regional materials was also important during construction. These materials support the regional economy and reduce the transportation impact of materials. About 22% of the building materials (based on cost) are regional.
During construction, about 85% of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill for recycling or reuse. As with all Elon buildings, recycling bins are located throughout the building. Elon’s recycling program accepts all kinds of paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metals (aluminum and steel). Other items are recycled in designated areas on campus such as batteries, printer cartridges and small electronics.
Creating a healthy and productive environment for the depot building’s users was one of the goals for the project. Throughout the construction process, careful attention was given to keeping the site and the building’s systems free from dirt and debris. Duct work and air handling units were kept covered, and dust and debris were minimized.
Products with low VOC (volatile organic compound) content were used throughout the building such as paints, adhesives, carpet and wood. Low VOC products allow for better air quality during and after construction. Entry way mats also help provide good indoor air quality by preventing dust and other contaminants on shoes from entering the building.
Occupants have the ability to adjust light levels to suit their needs and preferences. Thermostats are also adjustable within a pre-defined range (to avoid excessive heating and cooling). In addition, the building has a number of windows providing occupants with natural light and views to the outside, which has been shown to increase occupant well-being.
This category within LEED recognizes exemplary performance and innovative strategies not covered in previous categories. The high percentage of vegetated open space, 40%, earned the project recognition in this category. As did the comprehensive approach to stormwater management through the installation of bio-retention cells. Green power in the form of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) was purchased for the project and also earned recognition under Innovation. RECs were purchased equal to 70% of the electric use over two years. The University’s green cleaning program is being utilized in the depot building and was also recognized. Green cleaning improves indoor environmental quality for all occupants. It limits the amount of chemicals that affect human health and those that are released back into our waterways and environment.
Educating the residents at Station at Mill Point about the sustainable features of the buildings is an important component of the project. A Sustainable Living Guide is being developed for the residents in the community with tips to reduce one’s environmental impact in terms of power and water consumption, waste management, transportation and purchasing. It will also include information about LEED and the sustainable features of the buildings, including the depot building. This Guide will be available online from the Sustainability web site and the Residence Life web site. Limited hard copies of the Guide will be produced.