Dorm first in Utah to be certified as sustainable

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By Ian Smith
A dorm at the U was the first in the state to be certified as sustainable, but students are having mixed reactions.
The Donna Garff Marriott Honors Residential Scholars Community has recently received a LEED Gold certification, making it the first residence hall in Utah certified by the environmental rating system, which measures site design, water efficiency, atmosphere and energy, materials and interior air quality.
Some students didn’t know the dorm is LEED-certified, or even what it means to be LEED-certified, but overall, students think it’s a good thing.
Brian Hoole, a senior in city planning, thought the U’s desire for a greener public image was part of the motivation for the certification.
“I would just imagine with all the hospitals we already have on campus that they wouldn’t want the public opinion saying that the university is this horrible, filthy place to be even though there [are] hospitals. They’d want to make it enjoyable,” Hoole said.
Hoole hopes green buildings have a positive long-term effect on the U’s campus.
“Having the ability to have that extra cash doesn’t happen very often. But generally speaking, if it’s a long-term experience, green buildings will definitely work out,” Hoole said.
Greg Popeal, a junior in journalism, had a more positive reaction to the news of the certification.
“It helps the environment. We just got money from the Pac-12, and we have the money to spend. It’s better to do that than put up more buildings,” Popeal said.
He supports giving other buildings LEED certification as long as there is no increase to his tuition.
“If it’s going to overall save everyone money and as long as they don’t raise my tuition and I don’t see anything of it, I think it’s awesome for the environment and the community to be more green and more efficient,” Popeal said. “We might as well do it now instead of same way we’ve been doing it.”
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