Saturday, August 13, 2011

King County Visits Bastyr University's Student Village for Inspiration

Nearly a year after the Student Village began providing on-campus housing to Bastyr University students, the LEED platinum-certified structure still is attracting visitors interested in learning more about its innovative design and sustainable features.

People walking through the bastyr garden with the student village as backdrop
Taking the LEED tour

In August 2011, the Student Village was the main attraction during a stop at the University on the LEED platinum building tour, organized by King County and O'Brien and Co. Last year, the county's green building program, GreenTools, granted Bastyr $25,000 to help further minimize environmental impacts, and more recently honored the Student Village with a King County "Green Globe Award."

"Sustainability is an important issue to King County and Bastyr's core values are well aligned with ours as a community partner," says Patti Southard, program manager for GreenTools. "Creating sustainable green communities is one of our missions and we could not do it without organizations like Bastyr.

"We felt it was a good fit to show our county and city staff members the school because of this."

The Student Village, an 11-building structure with room for 132 students, promotes sustainability and awareness to the environment through such features as:

  • Bike storage
  • Built-in recycling and composting bins
  • "Butterfly" roofs with green vegetation to naturally insulate rooftops and preserve rainwater 
  • Radiant-heat flooring made of polished concrete
  • Natural ventilation
  • Fiber-cement siding
  • 97 percent construction waste recycling
  • High-efficiency water heaters and gas boilers
  • Extensive local and sustainable landscaping

In addition, each unit is fully ADA accessible, and the entire Village is surrounded by trees on one side, with the Bastyr Medicinal Herb Garden on the other.

The second of four stops on the LEED platinum building tour, the Bastyr University tour was led by Daniel Clark, director of facilities and safety at the University. The group of sustainable leaders attentively took notes and asked questions about the architecture and structure.

"The whole purpose of the tour is to be inspired by other sustainable like buildings," one onlooker remarked.

Southard agrees. "One of the most important things is to be inspired," she says. The tour included a walk through Medicinal Herb Garden, then the visit concluded with lunch in the Bastyr Dining Commons. In his final remarks, Clark advised the visitors to take lots of notes and schedule advanced planning to get the job done right.

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