Smith’s New Paradise Apartments

Smith’s New Paradise Apartments


– I want to live off campus,
in the Freedman’s, but they’re practically falling down. – I heard it’s always drafty, and they’re not so
great to look at either. – Have you heard about the new
apartments that Smith is building? – They could be just what
you’re looking for. Students will be moving in
for the Fall 2016 semester. You could be one of the lucky
eighty students to live here. – There’s even views
of Paradise Pond, but the best part is that they are
going to be environmentally friendly. – Really? What makes these buildings green? – These apartments are
going to be LEED certified. LEED stands for Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design. This certification helps the building
be environmentally responsible, and use resources efficiently. These apartments
will be gold certified, mostly due to their
energy efficiency. What’s more important than
a certification though, is whether or not a building
has long term durability, provides comfort for students, and has a low energy use intensity. – What’s energy use intensity? – Energy use intensity, or EUI, is a measure of
the energy a building uses per square foot. The EUI of the new apartments will be
90% less than the campus average. This is because an air barrier
was added to the buildings before the installation, making them airtight, which is like closing the door on a
refrigerator to maintain its temperature. The two inches of insulation and double glazed windows act like a blanket over the refrigerator, to further reduce the
building’s heat loss. – Think of insulation as a curve,
up to a certain point, say two inches, it does a lot, but once you get
beyond that amount, more insulation doesn’t improve
the effectiveness of the building, and just becomes too expensive. Since the new apartments are airtight, the heating costs
are greatly reduced. They use a heat pump, which extracts heat
from the outside air, and cycles it through the building. In the summer, the system can be reversed by
extracting heat from the building, leaving the inside air cooler. – One concern, however,
is the need for fresh air in such an airtight environment. The apartments use
a ventilation system, which exchanges
indoor and outdoor air while retaining 80%
of the indoor heat. The ventilation system can also
control the building’s humidity. – The architectural priorities
for these new apartments have been low energy use intensity, long term durability, and student comfort. These buildings will be student
housing for the next hundred years so it’s crucial that their environmental
efficiency will stand the test of time. – The five buildings are
almost complete, they just need some
finishing touches. Would you like a tour? Wow, this entryway is great, I love the modern design. They’re definitely much
prettier than the Freedmen’s. Great kitchen space, there’s an amazing
view out the window, looking at the pond. The windows go from the floor, to the ceiling, and the window panes are still warm
because they’re keeping the heat in. This will be great for harsh winters. Oh, this could be my room, it’s so big and has
lots of natural light. The bathroom is right across
the hall and is fully accessible. Look, an individual heating unit, I don’t have to fight with
a thermostat anymore. – Building a green building
that’s LEED certified is good for the college, but it’s also changing the market, changing the industry. The next time Smith wants to do this,
they won’t be the same learning curve. – Smith College’s commitment to
sustainability will help students become future green
leaders in the real world. – We are modeling sustainability
right here on campus, and I think this can motivate us
to push for more energy efficiency in our own lives and outside Smith. Now, if only Smith could help me achieve
this level of efficiency in my classes. – I worked hard to get off campus, but now, I want to move back because
these apartments are too good to be true.


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