Lindner Hall, Elon’s “greenest” building, dedicated on April 16

Elon University leaders dedicated Martha S. and Carl H. Lindner III Hall on April 16, 2010, in an afternoon ceremony attended by a large crowd of faculty, staff, students, administrators and members of the board of trustees on campus for their spring meeting.

The Lindners, of Cincinnati, Ohio, provided a $2.5 million gift to Elon in the hopes of inspiring others to support the university. Their son, Christopher, attended the university, and speaking on behalf of the family, Carl Lindner expressed his gratitude for how much Elon means to them.

“This is so much more than we could have ever imagined,” Carl Lindner said of the building just moments before the formal ribbon cutting. “What a tremendous resource and facility. Martha and I couldn’t be more excited to be here. It’s an exciting day for Elon.”

Lindner Hall serves as the administrative home for Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and is currently the ‘greenest’ building on campus. It also houses the history and geography department, as well as the sociology and anthropology department.

The hall received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification late last year from the U.S. Green Building Council, a national recognition for design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

A top official in the council – who is also an Elon parent – attended the ceremony as well.

“Your project team had to put considerable thought into the design and construction of Lindner Hall to receive LEED Gold,” said Christopher Smith, chief operating office for the U.S. Green Building Council. “LEED certification is to building what grades are to an education. Each is a tool that measures success.” 

Joining the ceremony was another couple who helped with the building’s construction. Elon trustee William J. “Bill” Inman and his wife, Patricia, of McLean, Va., made a $500,000 gift in support of Lindner Hall. The Inman Reading Room, accented with dark wood and antique brass fixtures, was named in their honor and offers students a setting for quiet study and reflection.

Elon University President Leo M. Lambert lauded the Lindners and the Inmans for their generosity. “When you’re a young university like Elon, and 54 percent of your alumni are in their 20s and 30s, the generosity of parents makes a critical difference,” Lambert said in his welcoming remarks.

Pamela Kiser, interim dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, reflected on the significance of the building as the college’s new home.

“Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Lindner,” she said. “I can say as a resident of this building that I’ve come to feel at home here and wonder how we ever did without it.”

The 35,590-square-foot building includes classrooms, office space, a first floor reading room, a computer lab and student-faculty engagement spaces. It has a number of sustainable features that contribute to its LEED Gold certification.

Lindner Hall is 27 percent more energy efficient than a similar building that would just meet the energy code requirements. Photovoltaic panels on the roof generate electricity and a solar thermal system provides hot water for the building. An energy recovery system was put in place that utilizes energy captured in exhaust air to precondition supply air.

Energy Star-qualified windows and many layers of building insulation were installed to reduce the need for heating and cooling. Lighting is adjustable to conserve energy, occupancy sensors turn off lights when rooms are not in use and high efficiency light-emitting diode (LED) technology is employed.

All of the plumbing fixtures in Lindner are low-flow, or even no-flow in the case of the waterless urinals. In addition, sensors control how long faucets operate and toilets have dual flush handles with the option for a 1.1 or 1.6 gallon flush. Shower rooms provide convenience for those who choose to bike to campus. The grounds surrounding the building are watered by the campus wide irrigation system supplied by reclaimed storm water collected in the ponds located on university grounds.

During the construction of Lindner Hall, more than 90 percent of the construction waste was diverted from the landfill for recycling or reuse. Building materials containing recycled content were used as much as possible such as structural steel, concrete, carpet and many others.