Originally built in 1960 as a hotel, Harvard Law School’s (HLS) North Hall has recently earned LEED Gold certification through the LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) version 3.0 rating system for its conversion into a 112 room dormitory for students at Harvard Law School. North Hall is Harvard University’s 44th LEED certification and the third project to achieve LEED certification at HLS.

The efficiency strategies implemented during this renovation highlight both HLS’ and Harvard’s commitment to greenhouse gas reduction and achieving the University-wide goal of reducing emissions 30% below 2006 levels by 2016, inclusive of growth. This project is particuarly impressive because despite being a life safety project, the project team recognized the opportunity to streamline processes by implementing energy conservation measures and capitalizing on other sustainability measures while the project was being designed and constructed.

An energy recovery system that pre-treats fresh air with conditioned exhaust is expected to save HLS approximately $50,000 and reduce emissions by 159 MTCDE annually. Common areas in the building such as the entry lobby, laundry room, and kitchens feature high efficiency LED lighting. Early analysis of the existing lighting determined that in many instances too much artificial lighting was being provided. For certain fixtures the design team was able to cut lighting demand in half simply by replacing two-lamp fixtures with one-lamp replacements. These lighting improvements in aggregate are expected to reduce the electrical demand by more than 40% when compared to the already rigorous ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard.

More than 96% of the interior elements such as ceilings, flooring, and wall partitions were able to be retained, and over 11 tons of furnishings and electronics were salvaged for use in other projects on campus. An impressive construction waste recycling rate of 95% was achieved.

For more information on the project and its sustainability features, check out the North Hall Renovations case study on the Green Building Resource website.