West Hall receives EPA's ENERGY STAR
DENTON (UNT), Texas – West Hall, a residence hall on the University of North Texas campus, earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's prestigious ENERGY STAR. The ENERGY STAR is the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency.
The recognition signifies that West Hall performs in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency. Commercial buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Only 142 residence halls in the nation carry the ENERGY STAR rating.
West Hall is a three-story facility, built in 1957, that houses 391 students and a dining hall. Several energy saving initiatives have been implemented at West Hall over the course of the past six years, including:
- Heating and air conditioning systems were upgraded to current standards
- The exterior and interior lighting was replaced with energy-efficient lighting
- The windows were replaced with double-paned aluminum frame, insulated windows.
- The exterior of the building was cleaned and the brick resealed to prevent water leaks.
West Hall is the second residence hall at UNT to earn an ENERGY STAR; Crumley Hall received an ENERGY STAR in 2010. Crumley and West are the only two residence halls in Texas to have earned this title.
“Having a building certified on campus means that we are committed to saving money, running efficiently and reducing our impact on the environment,” said Monica Thomas, UNT Facilities manager. “We hope that it shows our dedication to UNT’s Four Bold Goals and the American College and University Presidents climate commitment.”
In 2008, UNT became Texas' first large public university to sign the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, pledging to adhere to more stringent environmental standards and promising to achieve at least LEED Silver certification on new buildings. Apogee Stadium received LEED Platinum certification, the Life Sciences Building received LEED Gold certification, and the Business Leadership Building also received LEED Gold certification. The new University Union will be LEED certified. Many of the changes that resulted in the LEED certifications were a part of UNT SMART, a campus-wide energy savings initiative.
ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. As of December 2012, families and businesses have realized estimated savings of over $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the past two decades.