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UW-Madison Leopold Residence Hall

Teaching sustainability where they live with a rooftop greenhouse

Through Wisconsin's Division of State Facilities, the University of Wisconsin – Madison hired EUA to design a freshman residence hall with modern amenities on an extremely tight site in their historic Lakeshore Housing District. Working as a team with representatives from University Housing, Campus Planning, student living organizations, the adjacent Botanical Gardens and the Division of State Facilities, EUA led the programming, planning, site amenities and design efforts.

EUA designed a unique residence hall that incorporates UW's standard room and bathroom arrangement, fits on a very small, multi-tiered site and has exterior aesthetics to complement the surrounding historic district. In addition to resident rooms, the new hall includes a two-bedroom apartment for the Residence Life staff, a classroom, a main building lounge, a recreation room, a laundry room, a music room, a study den on each floor and a social lounge on each floor with an attached kitchenette, four staff offices and a staff conference room.

The residence hall on the UW-Madison campus received LEED® Gold Certification. Sustainable features include roof-mounted solar panels, low-flow plumbing fixtures, operable windows, individual climate controls in each room, an energy air exhaust recovery wheel and Green Power (wind). Leopold is 23% more energy efficient that the UW baseline building (based on cost).

Interior finish materials were reviewed by the maintenance staff for durability and were selected based on recycled content and impact on indoor air quality, with 47% of materials locally extracted or manufactured (based on cost). With almost 100% of residents utilizing public transportation, cycling or walking, the hall provides parking for over 100 bikes.

This building is the home of a 1,400 square foot greenhouse, an environmental-oriented learning community. The greenhouse educates students and the campus community in thinking, working, and living in more sustainable ways by planting, growing and distributing produce year-round. Residents are also given the opportunity to practice energy conservation awareness by utilizing the web-based electrical metering system.

Leopold is designed to serve the community with maximum efficiency and will be used by the University as resident housing for generations to come. The unique living and learning environment serves as an important educational tool and precedent for residence halls of the future.