Housing V Project (six residence halls)
RMJM Hillier
Green Project of Distinction Winner 2008 Green Education Design Showcase

Project Fact Sheet
Facility Use: College/University 4-Year Institution
Project Type: New Construction
Category: Green Design
Location: Pomona, NJ
District/Inst.: Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
   Donald E. Moore Associate Vice President for Administration & Finance
Completion Date: August 1, 2008
Design Capacity: 388 students
Enrollment: 7,355 students
Gross Area: 27,505 sq.ft.
Space per pupil: 425 sq.ft.
Site size: 19 acres
Cost per student: $122,542
Cost per sq.ft.: $288.11
Total project cost: $47,546,300
Building construction cost: $31,341,500
Site development cost: $11,775,100
Furniture & equipment cost: $734,405
Fees and other: $3,480,340
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The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey


The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey (RSC) is a four-year public liberal arts college located in southern New Jersey. The 1,600-acre campus sits in the heart of the Pinelands National Reserve, which is recognized as an environmental asset of national and international importance. The Pinelands contains an aquifer of unconsolidated sand and gravel that functions as a vast reservoir containing over 17 trillion gallons of some of the purest water in the country. This groundwater and the associated ecosystems require protection and significantly limit allowable development.

“Being located in one of the most environmentally sensitive regions in the nation, the Pinelands National Preserve, we are acutely aware of our responsibility to grow in harmony with our environment,” said Dr. Herman J. Saatkamp, president of Richard Stockton College.

The first campus residence halls were completed in 1970. Three additional residence halls were constructed in subsequent years, the most recent, Housing IV, was completed in 2001. In 2005, the steadily growing RSC was in serious need of additional housing to attract and retain students. Prior to the completion of Housing V, RSC had only 2,090 beds for its 6,500 students. Students also wanted more modern housing with amenities not available in existing residence halls.

RSC has extensive experience with alternative energy systems including a 200 kW fuel cell, a geothermal system with1,600 tons cooling capacity for the main academic complex, solar photovoltaics at several locations and an aquifer thermal energy storage system. Plans are underway to add these systems in future projects.

Project Description

The Housing V design used environmentally appropriate systems and materials to enhance the campus, thus celebrating and being responsible to RSC’s unique surroundings.

Housing V consists of six three-story buildings on 7.05 acres. The site originally contained a mixture of surface parking lots and a limited amount of natural forest. The cost for the 165,030 square-foot project was $47.5 million.

The Housing V buildings accommodate 388 undergraduate students in apartment-style units. Two buildings were occupied in January 2008, and the other four in September 2008.

In response to the nearby Jersey Shore’s architectural vernacular, the buildings were designed in wood with clapboard siding, white trim and flat roofs. The architectural style also met RSC’s aim to provide a warm and inviting context.

Each building has a ground-floor common social lounge with a large-screen television, pool table, lounge seating and tables. The lobby areas on each floor are enhanced with exterior windows bringing in daylight and function as small social gathering spaces with soft seating. Communal study lounges on the second and third floors feature floor-to-ceiling windows that provide views of the campus and Pinelands.

Each apartment unit has a living room, kitchen, four single bedrooms, and toilets, shower, bath and sinks. Each unit has individual thermostat control and every room has operable windows.

Goals and Visions

RSC views its role as a steward of the Pinelands and is a recognized resource for teaching and research as well as service related to the environment.

The design team had to ensure that the new Housing V followed RSC’s goals to:

  • provide a design that endeavors to protect and sustain the Pinelands;
  • provide reasonably priced, attractive, well-maintained, comfortable and safe housing for students;
  • provide a learning environment and related programs that enhance academic success and student development;
  • develop a sense of community that values diversity and strives to be inclusive of all students.

How Housing V Meets Educational Needs

RSC considers the residential experience key to a student’s social, educational and academic progress. Meeting and interacting with other students from different cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds broadens students’ horizons and enhances their educational experience.

Housing V includes a new Living Learning Community (LLC) organized around the principle of sustainability. The LLC will provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to work together on student-generated projects and engage in community environmental education. Close interaction with faculty members outside the classroom will be part of this effort. RSC expects Housing V will be the residence of choice for students focusing on sustainability and environmental policy.

To encourage recreation and foster ties among students, an outdoor basketball court, a volleyball court and a new roller hockey rink were located in the complex. The site plan for the residence halls creates a “main pedestrian street” that links the six residence halls. Three exterior social plazas are located along the main street to provide a setting for socializing at the entrances of each pair of buildings.

Special Challenges

RSC’s location presented hurdles to adding more residences halls because impermeable coverage is environmentally undesirable. The attributes that make the campus unique are the same that serve to curtail its development.

Most of the campus cannot be developed under the New Jersey Comprehensive Pineland Management Plan. The majority of the campus (approximately 1,052 acres) is located within the Pinelands Rural Development area, where new development is restricted to minimal impervious coverage and the septic systems must be approved by the Pinelands Commission.

The remaining 543 acres of the campus are in the Pineland Regional Growth Area. These acres have public sewer service. Development is permitted as long as it does not expand the campus borders. Also, unlike private development in this area, RSC was required to obtain site plan approval from the New Jersey Pinelands Commission.

Planning process

The planning process began with work sessions with the RSC’s Office of Residence Life, Dean of Students and President. These meetings determined the space components for each building and established that the buildings would provide apartment-style living units with communal support spaces. During the design development, the architect and RSC met with students to explain the project and get feedback on the program and space configuration. These invaluable meetings created a sense of project “ownership” for the students and staff.

Early in the design phase, the architect met with the New Jersey ‘s Pinelands Commission and Department of Environmental Protection to discuss the project scope, the approval process and Pinelands building requirements. A Pinelands Commission forester conducted an inventory of the site’s existing trees to establish the requirements for tree and understory replacement. The final project included planting of more than native 1,000 trees to replace the 400 trees lost to construction.

Sustainable Element — Energy

Housing V incorporates geothermal heating and cooling using closed loop technology for a total of 450 tons cooling capacity. To eliminate the possibility of groundwater contamination in the event of a leak, freeze protection is provided in the circulating fluid. The design accommodates future solar thermal heating systems. Upper story deciduous trees were planted along the south facing facades of the residence halls to provide shade during the summer months, but allow the warmth of the sun to wash the buildings during the winter. Exterior walls were designed with an R-factor of 19 and roofs with an R-factor of 30. Windows were specified with a U-factor of .61 BTU/sf.

Analyzing energy use reflected in utility costs, Housing V costs slightly more per student than Housing IV, which is 64,240 square feet. However, students in Housing V, which has single rooms, have almost twice as much space per student. Comparing cost per square foot, Housing V costs 30% less than Housing IV.

Energy-efficient kitchen appliances were specified to meet U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star guidelines. Low-flow water fixtures are used throughout the building.

Environmental considerations

The site plan for Housing V is mindful of the Pinelands and overall environment. Housing V does not extend beyond the existing campus perimeter. The project does not add impervious coverage to the site and the landscaping plan that not only replaces native Pinelands vegetation lost during construction but also increases the amount of plantings and habitat. Each tree greater than 4” diameter lost to construction was replaced with two new Pineland native trees such as pitch pines, scrub pines, white oaks, black oaks, red cedar and American holly. In addition, the understory of reforested areas was planted with native vegetation including low bush blueberry and sweet fern – all water-efficient landscape requiring no irrigation.

Storm water runoff is directed to groundwater recharge structures under the adjacent parking lots in accordance with best management practice (BMP). The flat residence hall roofs are a white KEE membrane roofing system on the DOE’s Energy Star "Roof Products Qualified Product List" for low-slope roofs. The white roofing provides a high-albedo roof coating to significantly reduce heat island effect and reduce the building’s air-conditioning energy use.

Construction debris was recycled. More than 120 loads of trees were recycled – pines went to a Pennsylvania sawmill, and oaks to a New Jersey chipping mill. Eighty-five loads of on-site asphalt were milled and reused for the new parking lots, and 60 loads of demolished concrete sidewalks, curbs and pads were sent to a recycling center.

Following the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the interiors have environmentally friendly materials including linoleum floors in the apartments (no chemical byproducts in production), bamboo flooring (rapid renewable resource) the first floor common lounges and nylon carpeting in the corridors; the social lounges and study lounges were made with recycled content.

All paint and sealants meet the USGB standards for low VOC All paint and sealants meet the USGB standards for low VOC content. Light pollution is a serious concern in the Pineland due to the native nocturnal insect species. Housing V incorporates motion-detection lights and downward-oriented outdoor light fixtures that reduce light pollution.

Project Description:
1) Control of Institution: Public
2) Type of Institution: Traditional


Methodology & Standards:
First-Cost; Life-cycle Costs; State Standards PLUS

Funding Method(s):

Project Delivery Method(s):

Sustainable/Green Design:
Principles Followed: LEED
Site Selection and Development: Site Selection; Stormwater Management; Heat Island Reduction; Building Orientation
Water Conservation: Water Conservation
Energy Efficiency and Conservation: Energy Efficiency; Building Automation/Energy Management Systems; Natural Ventilation; Alternative Energy Source
Materials Use: Sustainable Materials Selection
Indoor Environmental Quality: Use of Daylighting; Electric Lighting Systems/Controls
Alternative Energy Sources: Geo-thermal


Associated Firms and Consultants:
Interior Design: RMJM Hillier
Landscape Architecture: RMJM Hillier
Construction/Project Management: Skanska
General Contractor: Sambe Construction Co., Inc.
Structural Engineer: CMX (formerly Schoor DePalma Engineering)
Electrical Engineer: Vinokur-Pace Engineering
Mechanical Engineer: Vinokur-Pace Engineering
Civil Engineer: Langan Engineering & Environmental Services
Technology Consultant: Vinokur-Pace Engineering
Environmental Consultant: Langan Engineering & Environmental Services

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