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Sustainable Development Strategies

Animas Hall at Fort Lewis College

Located in Durango, Colorado, Fort Lewis College (FLC) is a public college that offers high quality baccalaureate liberal arts education to a diverse student population. The 2011 edition of The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges profiled FLC for its demonstration of strong commitment to sustainability in its academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation.

Animas Hall at Fort Lewis College Opened to its first residents in the fall of 2009, Animas Hall is the newest residence hall at FLC and combines learning and living through its Faculty in Residence Program. It fosters a heightened sense of intellectual curiosity as well as providing a unique dynamic in the residential community by bringing the student-teacher relationship outside the classroom and into the living environment.

Animas Hall is a three story building with 37 student suites as well as a public area on the ground floor containing a multi-use classroom, warming kitchen, reception area, computing room, and lounge. Each suite features four single occupancy bedrooms with a common shower and toilet room, living room, and snack area. In addition, two faculty/staff apartments are located on the ground floor with separate entrances to the outdoors. The building occupies a footprint of 17,264 square feet with a gross square footage of 49,538.

Reception Desk in Animas Hall at Fort Lewis College The project earned LEED Gold in April 2010, making it the first building on Fort Lewis College’s campus to earn LEED certification. Pursuit of LEED certification for Animas Hall is an outcome of former President Brad Bartel's signing of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in April 2007. Animas Hall incorporates numerous integrated green building strategies including natural ventilation, extensive use of daylight, high performance glazing, and sustainable materials use. A green building profile created as part of a Green Building Education innovation credit for the project’s LEED certification details the specific high performance building approaches.

From 2007 – 2011, Earthly Ideas consulted with Fort Lewis College on LEED certification for Animas Hall, Berndt Hall Reconstruction for Biology, and Student Union Addition. We coordinated sustainability efforts among these three projects and assisted with the development of campus-wide sustainability initiatives in support of the campus’ Sustainability Action Plan. We also assisted FLC staff in developing their LEED documentation for these initiatives. As part of the Green Building Education innovation credit, we worked closely with FLC students, faculty, and staff to develop a coordinated signage program with consistent imaging and specific messages related to the green building features of each building. While informing occupants on a daily basis, the signs form the basis for guided tours. Additionally for Animas Hall, Earthly Ideas served as the sustainability and LEED information resource for the design and construction team, reviewed drawings and specifications, and provided project management support to the design and construction team for the LEED certification process. Managing Principal Michelle Reott has been a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Environmental Affairs at FLC since 2004.