Ehinger Center—Certifiably Green
New features merit LEED distinction.
September 2015 – Drew’s popular Ehinger Center is a comfortable, spacious building where students study, eat and hang out—thanks to a $12 million redesign that was recognized last year by the New Jersey chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Now the building has another accolade: certification from the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) structure. Why? Because of its energy-saving features.
For example, the building’s heating and cooling system uses 20 percent less energy than the previous one, according to Christina Notas, the campus sustainability coordinator. Also, automated shades over the large glass wall of windows adjust throughout the day to reduce glare from the sun and maintain a comfortable temperature. Other features include an indoor composting station, pervious concrete pavers that allow rainwater to be reabsorbed and waterless urinals in the men’s bathroom.
Before the renovation, the campus community participated in design and planning sessions that took “an overall look at how the building looked, needed to be maintained and who would occupy it” while integrating green strategies with KSS Architects, Notas said. The result is a more spacious but energy efficient building that incorporates recycled materials into its design.
As part of Drew’s 2008 agreement with the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, any new construction or major renovations must be LEED certified. The Ehinger Center is the second LEED building on campus, after McClendon Hall, which received a silver certification, based on its renewable energy system, water efficiency, low-emission paint, recycled construction materials and landscaping.
The Ehinger Center project was fueled by Drew Trustee Tony Ehinger C’80, and his wife, Marianne Hyzak Ehinger C’80, who contributed $3 million toward the cost. Initially, Tony Ehinger raised $500,000 from members of his graduating class to renovate the center’s pub, now known as the C’80 Pub. Other key donors included John H. Crawford III T’65, past chair of the board of trustees, and his wife, Cathie ’64, who gave $1 million to create a new lecture hall that doubles as event space, and trustee Gates Hawn and his wife, Mary Ellen, who donated $300,000 for a commuter lounge.