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Renovated Pocomoke Hall Earns LEED Gold Certification

Pocomoke HallSALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University’s Pocomoke Hall is the first renovated building on campus to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The environmentally friendly residence hall is the second LEED-certified building on campus. SU’s Teacher Education and Technology Center was certified LEED Silver in 2009, becoming the first LEED-certified new construction project on the Eastern Shore.

The USGBC is the nation's leading organization supporting environmentally responsible building. Pocomoke earned Gold certification, one of the top two levels available, following the council’s inspection and analysis.

In renovating the building, Grim + Parker Architects of Calverton, MD, and Holder Construction Co. of Atlanta incorporated 41 guidelines established by the USGBC for environmental quality to achieve the Gold certification. They ranged from maintaining a majority of the existing structure to reducing water consumption by more than 42 percent with updated plumbing fixtures.

In addition, the building uses 27.1 percent less energy than similar buildings its size. Some 59 percent of the hall’s outdoor surfaces are reflective, helping to reduce heat-island effect. More than 15.8 percent of building materials were sourced and manufactured within 500 miles of the construction site, reducing delivery-related fuel consumption and carbon emissions, and 22 percent were made from recycled material.

Some 75 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills and incinerators, and 67 percent of the wood used in the building was from Forest Stewardship Council-certified products.

“This is our highest-rated LEED certification project to date, and we are proud that the U.S. Green Building Council continues to recognize Salisbury University’s commitment to sustainability,” said Jeff Downes, SU facilities planning director. “We took a building more than four decades old and renovated it for noble use in the 21st century. In my opinion, keeping and renovating a building for an additional 40 years of use is about as environmentally friendly as it gets.”

“In designing the renovations, we wanted to make sure the residence hall not only reflected SU’s sustainable practices, but did so in a way that benefited the students’ quality of life,” said Dr. Dane Foust, interim vice president of student affairs. “Creating unique living spaces, increasing security with the use of cameras and incorporating the campus’ first in-residence-hall classroom were big steps toward achieving that goal.”

The LEED Gold certification continues an era of construction sustainability at Salisbury, an extension of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment pledge signed by SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach in 2008.

The University also hopes to achieve Gold certification for three other renovated residence halls—Manokin, Nanticoke and Wicomico—as well as Perdue Hall, scheduled to open this fall as the new home for the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at