If The University Of Illinois Can Do This For Itself Why Not The Rest Of Champaign

‘Green’ residence

 hall to be first for U of I



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-

paign) News-Gazette.

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.

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