University Crossing was designed with energy efficiency and conservation in mind, in keeping with UMass Lowell’s sustainability goals. It is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building, which means that environmental impact and energy usage were closely considered in every aspect, from the heating and cooling systems to the furnishings.
Its sustainability features include:
- An innovative design with skylights and a reflector in the atrium, which helps distribute natural light as far into the building as possible.
- Daylight harvesting controls that use photo sensors to measure the level of natural light and adjust the level of electric lighting to save energy.
- Underground water containment systems under each parking lot store storm water from the property and slowly release it underground.
- Green roofs with plant beds absorb rainwater, provide insulation and reduce the heat effect.
- Centrally controlled energy systems exceed industry standard efficiency requirements by 20 percent.
- Refurbished and repurposed materials and furnishings as well as new materials from regionally sourced suppliers have been used where possible.
- All flooring, carpeting and other furnishings are made with low-emissions materials to reduce the presence of volatile organic compounds.
- Plantings are incorporated into the exterior design to help absorb carbon dioxide, minimize storm runoff and beautify the streetscape.
- Extensive lighting control systems with occupancy sensors minimize energy use.
- Water conservation is achieved with such steps as low-flow toilets, sinks with automated sensors and the use of rain water from the roof to irrigate plantings. In addition, there are hydration stations in common areas where people can refill water bottles.
- Bike racks and showers are available for those who cycle to campus.
- Food waste will be composted.