Rhode Island College, New Residence Hall

Providence, Rhode Island

The program for the new 367-bed facility at Rhode Island College included residential life, office space, common student studies, a student lounge and recreation room. The design was based on a mix of two-bedroom shared and four-bedroom private apartment-style and suite units. The project was designed to be the first LEED-certified residence hall in ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY367COST PER SQ FT$225.00FEATURED IN2008 Architectural Portfolio Island.

The sloping nature of the site allowed for five stories to be built starting from the main entrance road elevation, with a partial lower level terraced into the hillside. The design approach allowed additional space on the lower level for residential life and housing offices, while minimizing the height of the building relative to its context. The use of similar-colored brick ties into the surrounding buildings.

Block and plank-type construction provide a durable wall and ceiling finish, as well as structural system, which minimized additional finish materials.

To promote better indoor air quality, low-VOC materials and a high-efficiency HVAC system provide continuous conditioned air to each unit. Minimal use of carpeting and VCT also reduce maintenance costs. Upper floors use composite acoustical gypsum and a Portland cement-based surface topping system to minimize noise transmission between floors.

An Energy Star white roof and high-efficiency glazing help minimize energy costs, and continuous air/vapor barriers minimize heat loss. Energy-efficient strategies are predicted to save more than $116,000 per year in utility costs.