Green Buildings

Grinnell College recognizes the importance of constructing and renovating buildings in a manner that is environmentally responsible.

  • CERA Environmental Education Center

    Environmental Education Center at CERA (LEED Gold Certified)

    Energy-efficient technologies used in the EEC include geothermal heating and cooling, daylighting and daylight sensors, and occupancy sensors. Water conservation efforts include rainwater collection for toilet flushing and greenhouse irrigation, as well as dual-flush, low-flow toilets. A 50-kW wind turbine provides most of the electricity for the building. Additional green attributes include local and recycled building materials, low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, and native landscaping.

  • East Campus

    East Campus Residence Halls (LEED Certified)

    The East Campus residence halls were built with Iowa limestone from Stone City, Iowa. The most interesting energy conservation technology used was the installation of window sensors that note when a window is open and automatically turn off heating and cooling to the room. Other attributes include daylighting, dual-flow toilets, and water-efficient landscaping.

  • Rosenfield Center

    Joe Rosenfield ’25 Campus Center (LEED Certified)

    Examples of energy-efficient technologies at the Rosenfield Center include daylighting controls, triple glazing of the “wave wall,” a white reflective roof, and a thermal energy wheel that recovers heat from exhausted air.

  • Noyce Science Center

    Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Center Phase II (LEED Silver Certified)

    Energy-saving technologies include heat reclamation, a white reflective roof, and variable frequency sash hoods with occupancy sensors. A rainwater collection system also provides irrigation water for the greenhouse.

  • The Bear Recreation and Athletics Center

    Athletics Phase II of the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Athletic Center (LEED Silver Certified)

    Phase II of the athletics center included an indoor pool and an indoor track facility. Energy efficiencies include geothermal heating and cooling of the natatorium (pool building), carbon dioxide sensors to correlate ventilation rates with actual occupancies, and heat recovery from exhaust air. Rainwater collection from the roof of the indoor track supplies all irrigation necessary for the football field, as well as water needed to flush a number of toilets.

  • preschool building exterior

    Grinnell College Preschool

    Construction included the third geothermal system on campus. Other highlights include a 3.36-kW solar array, daylighting censors, occupancy sensors controlling lighting and HVAC systems, in-floor heating, efficient lighting, heat recovery from exhausted air, energy star appliances, and dual flush toilets.

  • ASFS building

    Admission and Student Financial Services

    The Admission and Student Financial Services building has a number of sustainable elements. A geothermal system heats and cools the building, and a 21-kW solar photovoltaic system provides 60% of its electricity. Virtually all lighting is LED. To address stormwater, the building has a number of bioswales, permeable parking, and a small green roof. An electric vehicle charging station is also available for visitors.

  • Landscaping in front of HSSC including curving sidewalks, plantings, boulder seating and signage

    Humanities and Social Studies Center

    The Humanities and Social Studies Center is the greenest building on campus. A geothermal system heats and cools the building, all lighting is LED, and it has extensive occupancy sensors tied to not only lighting, but also to heating and cooling. A large cistern collects rainwater for irrigation and flushing toilets. A bioswale system addresses excess stormwater. The HSSC is also home to the College’s first green roof.

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