Although Baker College is the oldest college on Rice Campus, the 2010 addition of the new wing to the 100-year-old building earned Rice its 10th LEED certification. This new four-floor wing contains numerous doubles and suites as well as the renovated Baker servery Kitchen. The project’s sustainable highlights are:
- The windows are double-paned with low-e glass, which allows the light in but helps keep the summer heat out. Almost 92 percent of the building’s interior has access to natural daylight.
- The building’s overall energy efficiency is more than 20 percent more efficient than conventional construction.
- The student rooms are equipped with bathroom “pods.” These 7-by-7-foot pods were prefabricated off site, which minimized construction waste, and they were designed to be easily connected upon delivery to the project site, which saved construction time.
- Within the pods are water-efficient fixtures, including dual-flush toilets and low-flow shower heads. These fixtures help make the Baker College addition more than 40 percent more water-efficient than if traditional fixtures had been installed. The water savings from toilets, sinks and showers is estimated at around 250,000 gallons per year.
- Student rooms were constructed using paints, adhesives and sealants with reduced emissions to provide for healthier indoor air quality.
- The rooms also feature concrete floors instead of carpet to prevent dirt and other potential irritants from becoming trapped.
- The lights in the student rooms operate using a motion/infrared-detection system that turns off the lights when the room is unoccupied.
- The heating and cooling system are designed to conserve energy and functions using Rice’s energy policy temperature guidelines.
- If a door is left open, or if the room is unoccupied, the system enters a sleep mode to save energy.