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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2019

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Green dorms receive recognition

By GLENN GRIGSBYMason-Exterior-300x207

Mason Hall and Randolph Hall, two University of Mary Washington dormatories recently renovated by Koontz-Bryant, P.C., received Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification earlier this summer. LEED is a certificate that recognizes worldwide green building strategies.

The LEED Gold certified renovation project included parking for low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles, protection and restoration of habitats and open space maximization.

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, “LEED is a program that provides third-party verification of green buildings.”

Building projects that satisfy certain prerequisites earn points in order to achieve different levels of certification.

Three new plaques located around the Mason and Randolph courtyard state that the project also included the use of recycled bluestone pavement, the creation of a sustainable landscape of plants native to the Eastern U.S. and the creation of a large stormfilter structure.

UMW students have formed a Green Housing Community and reside on the fourth floor of Mason Hall.

Zakaria Ismail Kronemer, junior philosophy major, is the coordinator of this program. According to Kronemer, the community of 35 students “adjusts aspects of daily life such as taking short showers, unplugging appliances when leaving the room and using natural lighting as much as possible.”

Kronemer is pleased to see that UMW is actively working towards forming a more sustainable campus. Both the Green Housing Community and Mason and Randolph’s LEED Gold Certification are a testament to their effort.

“It’s great to see our school try to mitigate our harm to the environment; however that money probably could have been better spent elsewhere,” said Max Reinhardt, chairman of the College Republicans.

Kronemer believes that there is still more work to be done.

“There is much more that could and should be done. As students of UMW, we must seek to advance the health of the environment in our daily life,” said Kronemer.