General / Student services & organizations

Ackerman Hall earns LEED Platinum certification, first residence hall in the country

MONMOUTH – Western Oregon University’s (WOU) newest residence hall, Ackerman Hall, has achieved LEED Platinum certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. Ackerman Hall is the first large-scale, new construction residence hall in the country to achieve the highest LEED certification available. The project earned 53 points, exceeding the minimum 52 required for Platinum.

Ackerman Hall

Aerial view of Ackerman Hall. Photo courtesy of Higher Perspective Imagery.

Ackerman Hall opened to 330 students in September 2010. This state-of-the-art facility contains living, academic and meeting space. Ackerman Hall’s numerous features promote “green” and sustainable living, which help students develop an awareness of a more environmentally focused lifestyle. Some of the highlights of the many elements of the residence hall include:  a rainwater harvest system that collects rainwater used for flushing toilets, solar panels and heat ducts that heat air and water, occupancy sensors throughout the building that shut off lights when rooms are unoccupied, low flow water devices in all restrooms, repurposed wood throughout the building that was taken from trees that were removed from the building site at the beginning of construction, and an outdoor courtyard surface covered with recycled glass material (Filter Pave) which allows water to filter through the material and be absorbed into the soil. All of these features combined to save countless gallons of water and a significant amount of energy. In its first year of operation, total water savings was nearly 75 percent of a comparable building of its size and calculations show approximately a 35 percent savings in electricity use.

“Ackerman Hall has been an amazing addition to the WOU campus. This building has far surpassed our expectations of a living-learning facility. The building was filled to capacity for much of the first year and the waiting list to live in Ackerman Hall in the fall is impressive,” said Tina Fuchs, dean of students. “I believe the interest in this building really speaks to the planning and thoughtfulness that went into the design and construction. It took a team of many people to make this happen, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of it.”

Ackerman Hall

Ackerman Hall

The building is named after John Henry Ackerman, president of Oregon Normal School from 1911 to 1921. Ackerman tackled the task of reopening the Oregon State Normal School in Monmouth, which had closed the previous year due to lack of state funding. Ackerman reopened the school and served as president of the newly renamed Oregon Normal School. As president, Ackerman oversaw the construction of many new buildings on campus, including the school’s first dormitory, later named Todd Hall, and the gymnasium, now known as Maple Hall.  Ackerman left behind a legacy of family, friends and students who greatly admired him and his work to improve educational standards and quality in Oregon. It is fitting that such a legacy be recognized in the form of a state-of-the-art facility like Ackerman Hall.

Involved in the project:
Architect: Mahlum
Contractor: Lease Crutcher Lewis
Structural engineer: James G. Pierson
MEP engineer: Interface
Civil engineer: Cardno WRG
Sustainability consultant: Brightworks
Acoustical consultant: Altermatt Associates
Landscape architect: Atlas Landscape Architecture

# # #

Interview contacts:
Tina Fuchs
Dean of students
503-838-8220 or

Rita Haberman
Sustainability advisor, Brightworks
503-290-3010 or

3 thoughts on “Ackerman Hall earns LEED Platinum certification, first residence hall in the country

  1. Pingback: Buildings & Grounds - The Chronicle of Higher Education

  2. Pingback: College Dorm Exceeds LEED Platinum | EarthTechling

  3. Pingback: College Dorm Exceeds LEED Platinum | LEEDdaily

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