University to Open First "Green" Dorm

Newswise — When Tufts University Trustee Bernard Gordon lived in Tufts' West Hall in 1944 during his officer training for the Navy, he bunked four to a room. On Sept. 3, when Tufts students move into the new Sophia Gordon Hall, named in honor of Bernard Gordon's wife, they will live four to a suite in a "green" dorm with single bedrooms, fully-equipped kitchens and bathrooms, and a host of environmentally-friendly features such as hot water heated by solar panels on the roof.

A $10 million gift from technology pioneer Gordon made the construction of Sophia Gordon Hall possible. The new 126-bed dormitory will house fourth-year students and is Tufts' first "green" building.

"Once again, Bernie Gordon has answered the call in helping us to strengthen Tufts University," said Tufts University President Lawrence S. Bacow. "How fitting that our most technologically advanced dormitory and our most beautiful dormitory should be linked to Bernie and Sophia. We are enormously grateful to Bernie for his continuing generosity."

Energy-saving elements incorporated into design

Sophia Gordon Hall is expected to use 30 percent less energy and 30 percent less water than would a conventionally designed building. The bathrooms include motion sensors that will turn lights off when not in use and a dual-flush toilet.

The residence hall is divided into two wings that together have 31 suites, each including single rooms, a living room, kitchen and bathroom. Four suites have six bedrooms and 26 suites have four bedrooms. In addition, there is a two-bedroom suite for the residence director. The residence hall also includes a multi-purpose room that can seat 150 people and will be used for academic and residential life activities, such as films, classes, lectures, theater productions, and receptions.

Rooftop solar thermal and photovoltaic arrays, funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative with matching funds from Tufts, will help heat water and will generate supplemental power for the building. Most corner windows include louvered glass that will reflect heat away from the walls in the summer months and reflect heat indoors during the winter. Suite living rooms include many windows, as does the multi-purpose room, to reduce the need for electronic lights during the day.

The majority of the building's flooring is made from recycled material or renewable resources, including the hallway and suite carpeting, the rubber flooring in stairwells and the bamboo wood floor in the multi-purpose room. In addition, the steel used to build the residence hall is more than 85 percent recycled.

Built to LEED

Sophia Gordon Hall was designed and built to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System, a voluntary set of standards for high-performance, sustainable buildings developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building is expected to receive a LEED silver certification.

"The LEED process brings everyone together " from the building owner to the designer to the builder," said Randy Wilmot, project associate with William Rawn Associates, the building's Boston-based architect, "and it encourages creativity and innovation from all parties."

The 62,000-square-foot residence hall was built by Linbeck of Lexington, Mass. Publication quality images of the residence hall are available from Tufts University.

Also a learning tool

Tufts hopes the new residence hall will be much more than a place for students to live.

"A large display wall next to the entrance will provide visitors and residents with information about the building, including real-time data about energy use and avoided pollution," said Sarah Hammond Creighton, program director at the Tufts Climate Initiative. "We hope that students " and anyone else visiting Sophia Gordon Hall " will learn not only about the energy-saving components in the building, but also other ways to conserve energy and recycle."

Tufts University was among the first universities to make sustainability a high priority in its teaching, planning and operations. Tufts is committed to meeting or exceeding the Kyoto Protocol for reducing emissions that contribute to climate change and is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange. In 2005, Tufts and the Tufts Climate Initiative won the Environmental Protection Agency Climate Protection Award.

Pioneer in engineering is part of philanthropic pair

A Tufts trustee and member of the Board of Overseers for the School of Engineering, Bernard Gordon is the cofounder and president of NeuroLogica Corporation of Danvers, Mass., and the former chairman of Analogic Corporation. Gordon is widely regarded as the father of high speed analog-to-digital conversion. His companies have developed a number of innovations, including the first solid state x-ray generator, the first fetal monitor, the first instant imaging CT system and recently, the first lightweight mobile CT scanner. Gordon is focusing his efforts at NeuroLogica on developing a portable imaging system to assist stroke and trauma victims.

Sophia Gordon was born in Pireas, Greece, in 1931 and came to the United States alone at 15 years old. Sophia and Bernard Gordon have been married and inseparable for nearly 50 years and are known for their philanthropy. In addition to Sophia Gordon Hall, Tufts is home to the Gordon Institute at the School of Engineering, which develops engineers and other technical professionals into engineering leaders.

Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's eight schools is widely encouraged.

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