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Letter to the editor: In response to Presidential climate committment

Published: October 1, 2007
Section: Opinions


Dear Editor,

As a member of the committee that reviewed and recommended to President Reinharz that he commit Brandeis University to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, I read with interest Alison Channon's article on that important commitment in the September 21 Hoot. I would, however, like to correct a factual error in that article.

Ms. Channon wrote: Despite student efforts in the past, the new Ridgewood residence hall will not meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards of certification. I am confident that the new Ridgewood Residence Halls will, in fact, meet LEED standards of certification. However, with regard to capital projects it is Brandeiss general policyjust as it is the policy of many other colleges and universitiesnot to pay the very considerable additional costs required for paperwork associated with LEED certification. We prefer to devote those funds to doing the right thing, from an environmental standpoint, within the project.

In the case of the Ridgewood Residence Halls, this includes careful siting of the buildings to maximize sun control, stormwater collection in underground tanks with gradual release back into the ground, extensive use of daylighting and dual-level lighting controls, use of recycled and recyclable materials (everything from steel with recycled content, to drywall, to carpeting, to furniture), use of locally manufactured materials to reduce energy use for transportation, high-efficiency glazing, dual-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, use of zero- and low-VOC paints and adhesives, and many other elements.

From the very start of this project, the University prioritized environmentally responsible design and construction, both in response to strong student interest in this and as a general policy that the University now applies to all capital projects. We believe the New Ridgewood Residence Halls will make a favorable statement with regard to Brandeis Universitys commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.

I would greatly appreciate The Hoot's correcting the incorrect impression readers may have derived from the 9/21 article, and I invite any Hoot reporters to contact me at any time in connection with articles they may be planning about capital projects at Brandeis. Many thanks.

– Dan Feldman
Vice President for Capital Projects