Projects - Green Buildings

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Global Problem
Buildings account for about 40 percent of the U.S.’s total energy consumption and almost 70 percent of electricity. They are responsible for about 38 percent of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Much of this energy comes from non-renewable fossil fuels. In Minnesota, 58 percent of energy comes from coal-fired plants, which contributes heavily to air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.
Why Build Green?

Local Solution
Macalester College adopted a green building policy as part of the Sustainability Plan with a goal of incorporating sustainability principles and practices into all construction and renovation projects, thereby reducing Macalester’s carbon footprint and demonstrating the college’s environmental commitment. We’ve been gathering, sharing, and analyzing energy information on campus buildings, and sustainability is a top priority for all new construction.
Sustainability Plan

How Are We Doing?
The Social, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability at Macalester College Sustainability Progress Report

Also check out these success stories:

Green Cleaning  
Macalester has successfully converted all buildings and completed all training green cleaning products. See more information:
Green cleaning procedures
Green cleaning vendor

Markim Hall
The home of the Institute for Global Citizenship is currently designed to meet the Platinum Level of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The design for this building includes native landscaping, daylighting, indoor air quality, energy efficiency, among other green building attributes. The building’s energy and water is monitored real-time and displayed on a “greentouchscreen” in the building lobby.
Institute for Global Citizenship
Platinum Level of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Green Touch Screen

Macalester College is offsetting 100 percent of our electricity and 100 percent of our on-site carbon emissions from Markim Hall through Renewable Choice Energy. Our funds go to wind projects, predominantly in the Upper Midwest and a landfill gas program in Illinois.
Renewable Choice Energy

Athletic and Recreational Facility  
A recreation facility, the Leonard Center, opened in 2008.  The demolition contractor calculated that over 93 percent of the 15,171 tons of demolition waste from the project was reused or recycled in local construction projects. During the design process for the new building, sustainability consultants were hired to assist with the project, and the final design promotes significant energy reductions.

Sphagnum MossIn 2008 the LC was constructed with sustainability in mind. Thanks to Creative Water Solutions, our pool uses sphagnum moss (enclosed in a mesh bag in contact chambers) to treat pool water. It acts like a filter to reduce organic contamination and naturally stabilize pH and alkalinity. It also binds metal ions like calcium, magnesium and iron, which naturally diminishes staining and scaling. The moss is changed monthly and water circulation clean the poolwithout heavy chemical use.

Key Benefits:

  • Improved Water Quality
  • Improved Air Quality
  • Stabilized pH and Alkalinity
  • Reduced Scale and Staining
  • Reduced Corrosion

Key Results:

  • Reduced Chemical Usage
  • Reduced Water Usage
  • Reduced Energy Usage
  • Reduced Maintenance

Janet Wallace Fine Arts Project  
The project used the Minnesota B3 green building guidelines as a template, and the project includes significant energy efficiency and landscape design for stormwater/runoff reduction. Check out the Fine Arts Center Sustainability Activities.

The project is featured in these news reports and magazine articles:

Macalester’s EcoHouse is a student residence, renovated to be more sustainable and to provide student research opportunities.  The house has a range of green features including energy-efficient appliances, water saving fixtures, solar-thermal water heating, worm composting, and use of recycled materials.

Other Housing
Improvements in energy- and water-efficiency are consistently implemented when feasible in the Cultural House, Language Houses, and other on-campus housing.