Warren Wilson College is an independent, liberal arts college with a commitment to environmental leadership and innovation. Students are expected to actively participate in shaping their experience at Warren Wilson. In 1998, when students learned of the plans for the new dorm, they established a committee to meet with the project team and set sustainability goals. The goals included energy efficiency and the use of local and highly recyclable materials. Material reuse became a means by which the design team could meet these criteria and actively engage the students in the building process. For example, wood from deconstructed campus buildings was planed and milled by Warren Wilson woodworking students for reuse in the EcoDorm. Other reclaimed materials include douglas fir and oak from an old fence used to create cabinets and wainscoting as well as glu-lam beams and pipe columns from deconstructed campus buildings used for structural members.
Following the EcoDorm’s completion in 2004, the students have demonstrated a continued sense of pride in the building which they helped to create. The students and architects created the ‘EcoDorm Manual,’ a downloadable document explaining the sustainability features of the building. Each year, the students welcome over 300 visitors that tour the EcoDorm and learn about its sustainability features. Over seven years after its completion, the EcoDorm continues to serve Warren Wilson College as an innovative model of green building that demonstrates its core values.
Reclaimed Materials (by application): Doors and Windows, Furnishings, Metals, Wood/Lumber
Location: Swannanoa, NC
Date of Completion: 2004
Architect: Samsel Architects
Client: Warren Wilson College
Contractor: Blue Ridge Energy Systems