VILLANOVA, Pa. – Recognized as one of the nation’s greenest colleges by the Princeton Review and other publications, Villanova University continues to achieve excellence in sustainability initiatives on campus. Fedigan Hall, a sophomore residence hall on Villanova’s main campus, is the most recent university building to achieve LEED certification. The building earned LEED Gold Certification for Commercial Interior.
In summer 2009, Fedigan Hall underwent radical renovations to create the University’s first eco-friendly residence hall. The 80-year-old building was fitted with several sustainable features, including occupancy sensor lights, rain gardens, low-flow showerheads that reduce water usage with mechanical timers and walkways made of porous asphalt. Geo-thermal wells – the first of their kind on campus – were installed and equipped with a ground source heat pump system that supports a large portion of the building’s heating and cooling. The wells have also provided learning and research opportunities for students and faculty members in the College of Engineering, who assisted in the renovation project.
To achieve LEED Gold Certification, Fedigan Hall earned high points for the geo-thermal wells, which significantly reduced the building’s HVAC usage, as well as its water reduction efforts and waste management. A total of five buildings on campus – Fedigan Hall, Driscoll Hall, Sullivan Hall and Sheehan Hall as well as the Villanova School of Law– have been recognized as LEED Certified.
“Villanova is pleased to have Fedigan Hall as our fifth LEED Certified building on campus, and even happier that it achieved LEED Gold,” said Liesel Schwarz, Sustainability Manager at Villanova University, “The building is unique among other LEED buildings on campus, as it has a renewable energy source helping to heat and cool the building. Students are able to observe the buildings energy use on the energy dashboard located in the building's entry way. We hope that all these efforts will help encourage students to live a more sustainable lifestyle.”
In 2007, The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, President of the University, reinforced Villanova’s commitment to sustainability by signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the goal of which is to make Villanova a climate-neutral campus. Villanova submitted a formal Climate Action Plan to the ACUPCC, designating the year 2050 as the University’s target date for net climate neutrality.
In addition to the efforts aimed at making Villanova’s physical campus more sustainable, the University has numerous academic programs that provide an emphasis on sustainability. They include a master’s degree in sustainable engineering; first-year environmental learning community; bachelor’s degrees in environmental science, environmental studies, and environmental biology/ecology; undergraduate minors in environmental studies and sustainability studies; biology master’s degree, graduate certificate, and advanced graduate certificate with a concentration in ecology, evolution, and organismal biology; master’s degree in water resources and environmental engineering, a graduate certificate in urban water resources design, and a graduate sustainability course in “Sustainable Industrial Chemistry.”
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.