EcoDorm at Warren Wilson College

Swanannoa, NC

The LEED Platinum EcoDorm serves as a 38 student dormitory and green building demonstration facility for Warren Wilson College and the community at large.

Completed in 2003, the EcoDorm at Warren Wilson is the last of a series of four dormitories that were planned over a period of six years to create a village of residence halls surrounding a common lawn. The client and our firm established the additional intention for the building to act as a facility that exemplifies environmental and healthy design.

Efficient space planning was used to minimize square footage and cost of the project as well as reduce the amount of resources needed to construct, operate, and maintain the building. Several green building consultants provided expertise on the design of the project. The collective efforts resulted in a far more comprehensive and successful building project.

Using local and salvaged materials was a main concern. Many materials originate directly from the college campus including all the exterior siding and trim which was made from beetle-kill pine trees cut on campus and milled locally.

Monitoring sensors and web-based displays of the building’s energy and environmental systems allow the students to be aware of the direct connection between their daily living habits and the environmental consequences that result in the building’s performance. Actual green building performance statistics include:

  • 64% reduction in total energy use
  • 74% reduction in water use
  • $8,765 annual energy savings

Warren Wilson College
New York Times Magazine Feature