THE ASSOCIATED PRESS____________
CHAMPAIGN — A $23 million residence hall under construction in Champaign will be the first at the University of Illinois to be certifi-ably “green.”
The eco-friendly features of the 262-bed Presby Hall include a geot-hermal system to heat rooms and water, water-saving plumbing, as well as environmentally friendly lighting and paint.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building, expected to be the first U of I residence hall to receive certification from the U.S. Green
On the Net
Presby Hall: www.presbyhall.com
Building Council, is planned for this summer.
The Champaign-based McKinley Presbyterian Church and Foundation, which owns the property, took the initiative in pushing for a green hall, the private foundation’s director said.
“We wanted to be responsible. We wanted (the building) to be sustainable, and we wanted to give back to the world,” Heidi Weatherford told The (Cham-
There are construction challenges.
One is the installation of the pricey, $650,000 heating system, which will use ground-source pumps to keep the building warm.
To install pumps and many miles of tubing, some old trees along a nearby street must come down, though new trees will be planted to replace them.
Weatherford said while the geot-hermal system is expensive, the costs will be recouped by the $40,000 in annual energy savings.
“The upfront costs are signifi-
cant,” she told The Associated Press on Saturday. “But the financial payback is almost immediate.” Factoring in the energy savings, Weatherford said, the heating system could pay for itself in about 10 years.
The Illinois Clean Energy Foundation recently awarded the foundation $100,000 to help pay for Presby Hall’s green features.
The university itself has said it plans a major renovation of a cluster of residence halls called Six Pack, saying it hopes that project also will get the green certification.