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Saint Xavier University dedicates first "green" residence hall

Rubloff Hall designed with environmentally friendly elements

Chicago (Oct. 11, 2006) – Saint Xavier University officials on Tuesday dedicated the new $9 million Rubloff Hall, the first “green” residence to be built in the Chicago area.

It is the first university residence hall built in the greater Chicago area using the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) “green building” approach, and one of only two in the entire state seeking certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. To receive the prestigious “green building” designation, the University must demonstrate that a number of sustainable strategies that protect the Earth’s natural resources were incorporated in construction of the building.

“Rubloff Hall helps Saint Xavier University meet the rising demand for the highest quality student residences. Our record enrollment has created a need for more places to live on campus, and Rubloff Hall helps us meet that demand in an environmentally sound manner,” said Saint Xavier President Judith A. Dwyer, Ph.D. 

The energy-efficient 88-bed residence hall increases students’ awareness of environmental issues and encourages a collective mindset to make the preservation of our planet a greater priority. Amenities include carpeting made of recycled plastics, a roof with 1,000 square feet of low-maintenance plants for heating and cooling retention, and toilets with two flush modes – one for liquids and one for solids. The building’s environmentally friendly design earned it a $90,400 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

“Green building” projects incorporate water and energy efficiency, using recycled and rapidly renewable materials, and maximizing the quality of the indoor environment. 

Rubloff Hall’s ventilation system improves indoor air quality and helps reduce the spread of germs; and a carbon dioxide detection system can tell if a room is occupied and adjusts airflow accordingly.

“It’s a whole change in building construction philosophy,” said Paul Matthews, assistant vice president of facilities management at Saint Xavier. “The motivation and reasons for implementing green buildings are diverse but can be condensed into essentially wanting to do the right thing to protect the earth’s natural resources.”

Rubloff Hall is the third apartment-style residence hall built on the Chicago campus in five years and brings the number of students living on Saint Xavier’s campus to 720. Construction was completed in August 2006 by Henry Bros. Construction; architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz and Associates designed the building.

“Students do better when they are closer to facilities, closer to their professors,” said John Pelrine, vice president for student affairs. “It adds vibrancy and life to the campus.”

Saint Xavier’s newest residence hall is named after the late Arthur Rubloff, a Chicago business executive and University trustee, who named the University in his estate plan. A legendary figure in the world of commercial real estate, Rubloff is widely believed to have coined the phrase “the Magnificent Mile” to describe Chicago’s premier shopping destination, and developed the first indoor shopping mall – Evergreen Plaza, in nearby Evergreen Park.

The residence hall also includes the Loftus Room, a fifth-floor meeting room honoring Mary Clare Loftus and her husband, Dr. Gerald F. Loftus, longtime supporters of Saint Xavier. Mary Clare Loftus, an alumna of the School of Nursing and trustee of the University, has repeatedly demonstrated her commitment with an inspirational vision and energy. She is also co-chair of the University Advancement Committee at Saint Xavier. In addition to providing meeting space, the room offers spectacular views of the campus. 

Founded in 1846 by the Sisters of Mercy, Saint Xavier University is a comprehensive Catholic university serving more than 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago and Orland Park. The University offers 35 undergraduate majors and more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing with day, evening and weekend courses to fit busy schedules.


Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.

Saint Xavier University Media Relations: 773-298-3325
3700 West 103rd Street, Chicago Ill. 60655 * 18230 Orland Parkway, Orland Park, Ill. 60467
online faculty expert guide: www.sxu.edu/relations/faculty_experts.asp