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As announced in early December by President Radenka Maric, the University of Connecticut has accelerated their goal of carbon neutrality on campus by a decade, giving the school a new deadline of 2030. In this newly affirmed commitment to the school’s sustainability goals, a number of Newman projects on the Storrs campus, in particular the Peter J. Werth Living and Learning Tower, are noted as both working towards this end and serving as templates for other buildings on campus.
Peter J. Werth Living and Learning Tower, which is one of five UConn buildings
to have achieved LEED Gold Certification, was designed from the beginning with
sustainability in mind. During studies of campus open spaces and major
pedestrian pathways, the tower’s current site was identified as a strategic
location to help energize underutilized green space. The footprint of the
building creates sun-filled courtyards with native plants and storm-water
retention, eliminating the need for irrigation.
Peter J. Werth also employs a number of energy-saving strategies, including a hi-performance envelope, gray-water-supplied centrifugal chillers with indoor cooling-tower sumps, Energy Star appliances, contact sensors to disable cooling when dorm room windows are open in hot weather, dashboard displays for resident and university monitoring, and solar thermal and photovoltaic collections on the building’s roof. The tower’s solar array alone has avoided more than 241,000 pounds of CO2 since 2017.
Newman is also working closely with UConn to ensure its new South Campus residence hall and dining facility will be home to a variety of energy-saving measures, and strives to ensure all its projects are designed to meet the client's needs in the most sustainable way possible.