Photos by Nate Romine
By Nate Romine /// Staff Writer
As students scramble to finalize living arrangements for next year, many are looking to the South, or should be.
Next year marks the grand opening of Edna Holmes Hall. Designed primarily for upperclassmen, and likely to host a few lucky sophomores, the building is a milestone in Lewis & Clark’s endeavors to create a sustainable community.
Holmes meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Standards. Just one notch below platinum, LC facilities strove to meet the highest standards in sustainability, working with companies such as Green Hammer, Urban Timber Works and Mahlum.
Below are some of the features future Holmes residents can look forward to:
Energy and Atmosphere Systems:
1. Operable windows for natural ventilation and passive cooling
2. Heat recovery ventilators to save heating energy for common area ventilation
3. High-performance walls and windows that are highly insulated—these help mitigate heat loss.
4. High-efficiency water heaters and low-flow fixtures that save costs incurred by water heating
5. Energy-saving designs in the building will use up to 26% less energy than residential buildings built to current energy standards.
1. Holmes Hall is designed to maximize the amount of natural light that penetrates into the building. The open areas found inside its spacious common rooms allow daylight into adjacent hallways.
2. The green housekeeping policies within Holmes reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that are released into the water stream. The building is also designed to use 40% less water than a typical residential building.
3. LC will offer booklets with tips that encourage environmental stewardship to each of Holmes’ new residents.
Interior/ Exterior Design Features:
1. Chairs made from recycled plastic coke bottles
2. Stump tables in communal kitchens
3. Weld House coffee and game tables, crafted from the salvaged sheet metal of car hoods!
4. A game room featuring pool and foosball
5. An outside patio that includes a fireplace
Perhaps the most unique feature found in Holmes Hall is the existence of a wide grand stairway in the center of the building connecting each floor.
“You get this open feeling. There is a little bit of egress to get a sense of activity, and as you travel up the main stair, you can catch a glimpse of what’s going on throughout the building,” said Amy Ngo, an interior designer at Portland architectural firm Mahlum.
Much of this grand stairway is made from the site’s original trees. Around 75% of the trees cut down are being reused in the construction of Holmes. “Sourcing materials from the site is a lost art, especially with a project this size. Most materials usually come from some equatorial forest with lax deforestation rights,” explained Joolz Moorcroft, business manager of Urban Timberworks.
Urban Timberworks dedicates itself to collecting and re-purposing trees primarily found in the Portland area. 90% of what Urban Timberworks collects is defined as “hazard trees.” These are trees that violate city safety and space standards. For Moorcroft and Urban Timberworks, collecting these trees is a reflection of a mindset focused on sustainability and awareness of the living environment.
“All living things have an embodied energy. When trees are able to come back in a different form, you are able to preserve a sense of place,” said Moorcroft, smiling.
Keep your eyes to the South next year as an environmentally aware and sustainable community develops.
For more information and recorded interviews with the architects and designers behind Edna Holmes Hall, check out LC Facilities’ YouTube channel or contact http://www.lclark.edu/offices/facilities/directory/administrative_staff/.