The Barn earns LEED Silver certification

The on-campus student social venue, known as The Barn, was awarded LEED Silver certification for new construction on April 19, 2012. The building, designed to host parties and events on campus, is located in the woods near Palmer and Piccolo Residence Halls and is surrounded by wildlife habitat. There is no parking directly outside the venue, which is instead accessible by a walking path.

“We typically build on a streetscape,” project manager Keith Callahan said. “The sustainable project site of this building is a stand-out feature.”

Large garage-style roll-up doors enable the Barn to serve as an open air space in nice weather, with energy-efficient fans cooling the space in the hottest months. The energy-saving features of the building resulted in a 38.5 percent reduction in energy use, compared to a typical building of its type.

The Barn was also the first building on campus to feature solar electric PV cells.  The 3.7 kW solar PV system, installed by Volt Energy, consists of 16 panels that produce 4825 kW-h of clean solar energy per year. Though the panels alone cannot power the building, they offset the fossil fuel-generated energy consumed by lights and fans in the venue, particularly during the sunny North Carolina summer months.

“The (LEED) certification is important, but what’s more important are the ideas behind the certification – to make the building as efficient as possible,” Callahan said.

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