Towson University: Green Architecture

How do you recycle a building? When you demolish a building your goal is to get rid of it…or to reuse the materials. Towson University is recycling their demolished buildings to create new and improved buildings. Reusing the materials is a greener way of reconstructing a building, making it a green building. Towson not only has not only one green building, but has about five buildings on its campus that has gone green.

The campus decided to pursue the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification when designing the new buildings. The multimillion dollar projects will achieve all the goals to maintain an environmentally healthy and responsible atmosphere.

David Mayhew, the director of Architecture, Engineer and Construction took a lot of time to plan for the new buildings. He wanted to make sure that the goals of LEED and the goals of the university’s Master Plan were met as well.

“There were a lot of things to think about when we planned the construction out. Our goal is to build a respectable building using new and eco-friendly ideas and that’s what we will do,” Mayhew said.


The Center for Liberal Arts Building

Lida Lee Tall

Lida Lee Tall demolished in 2007.

The most recent building added onto Towson’s campus is the new Center for Liberal Arts Building. The building is being constructed by using the recycled materials from the Lida Lee Tall building that was demolished in 2007. About 90 percent of the building was recycled to be utilized in the new buildings that were being made on campus. Not only is the foundation of the CLA building made out of recycled material, but the roof is composed of over 50% plant material. The building uses high-efficiency heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems and has energy-efficient windows. Even the bathrooms are eco-friendly, using low flush on toilets and withholding the use of paper towels and using hi-tech hand dryers.

“We didn’t want to waste the materials from Lida Lee Tall so instead we incorporated the materials to construct newer buildings on campus. We are improving our environment while helping the global environment. We also want to provide a comfortable environment for our faculty, staff and students,” Mayhew said.

Along with the CLA building, the West Village Commons, the 7800 Building, the Administration Building, the Child Care Center are other construction projects that are part of the master plan. West Village features water efficient landscaping and low-flow toilets within the complex. The 7800 Building uses back-ventilated terra cotta exterior walls which increases insulation and reduces molding in the building to improve the air quality. The 7800 Building also restored the Glen Stream stopping erosion. The Administration Building reused its original materials from the building to restructure their walls and installed insulated windows in order to save energy. The Child Care Center was made with solar heating which takes advantage of the sunlight throughout the days. All of the buildings have bought furniture through Maryland Correctional Enterprises which were approved by the GreenGuard Environmental Institute because of their low emissions. All of the green additions to the buildings promote a healthier lifestyle and is saving the environment.

Jack Nye, the director of planning in the Facilities Management group said that the campus goal was to incorporate green initiatives when it seemed practical within the campus. Towson’s goal is to convert 20 acres of paved area into open green space.

“We want to utilize our space, we want it to be smart and most importantly we want it to be beneficial to us,” Nye said.

Towson University’s construction plan may be costly but it is beneficial locally to the community and globally.

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