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SXU unveils LEED Gold plaque honoring new hall’s environmentally friendly design

O’Brien Hall second SXU building to receive LEED Gold designation

Chicago (March 9, 2009) Saint Xavier University unveiled a plaque Thursday from the U.S. Green Building Council signifying Mother Agatha O’Brien Hall as the University’s second building to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold designation for green building practices.  

Saint Xavier became the first Illinois University to receive a LEED Gold designation when the USGBC recognized Arthur Rubloff Hall in 2007.  

“The LEED Gold Designation for O’Brien Hall signifies yet another aspect of Saint Xavier University’s pursuit of climate neutrality and construction excellence,” said SXU Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management Paul Matthews. “This award is further recognition of our commitment to protecting the environment and providing an atmosphere for our students that promotes sustainable practices.”

Dedicated in October 2008, the energy efficient 36,664 square-foot residence hall is the sixth co-ed residence hall on the Chicago campus. It houses 108 students and was built to the same high environmental standards as Rubloff Hall.

To receive the prestigious LEED Gold designation, the University incorporated an exceptional number of “green” strategies to protect the Earth’s natural resources into the building’s construction.

The new hall was designed to use both natural and mechanical ventilation. A 50-foot high circular glass stair tower draws tempered air to assist in summer night pre-cooling and winter heating. This concept improves building energy efficiency and occupant comfort. 

The building uses 100 percent “Green-e” Power from mixed renewable energy products to carbon offset all electrical energy consumed in the residence. The roof features a solar reflection system, and the rain garden filters roof water runoff. 

A leader in green practices, Saint Xavier is a member of the Illinois Sustainable University Compact, which has pledged to accomplish multiple environmentally sound goals by Dec. 31, 2010. These goals include energy purchases from renewable sources, reduced carbon emissions and requiring green building practices for all new construction. More recently, SXU became the first Chicago university to sign the Presidents Climate Commitment, joining 557 other schools nationwide in a pledge to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.


Photo: From Left to Right:  SXU VP for University Relations Robert Tenczar, SXU Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Carrie Schade and Assitant Vice President for Facilities Management Paul Matthews. 



Joe Moore                                                       
Dir. of Media Relations                          
(773) 298-3937 or jmoore@sxu.edu