Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center

Dave Green Photography

Welcome to Boston University’s LEED Gold Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center, a welcoming addition to central campus for prospective students and families to find out about all that BU has to offer. Originally built as the Hillel House in 1953, the adaptive reuse of this historic structure is a prime example of the University’s efforts to re-purpose existing buildings to maintain the historic character of the community and preserve the embodied energy of these structures.

Highlights of the sustainable design strategies include:

Campus & Sustainable Site Design

  • Sustainable Transportation: The Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center is located in the heart of BU’s Charles River Campus, just a short walk from a bus line and two subway lines.  96% of BU students use sustainable modes of transportation such as public transit, walking, and biking.
  • Open Space:  Adjacent to the Warren Alpert Mall, or the “BU Beach”, design of the Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center incorporates a plaza to accommodate large tour groups visiting campus.  The plaza flows west, mimicking the design of the building and seamlessly connecting the Center to the beach with a tree canopy of red maple and honey locusts to provide shade and reduce the heat island effect.
  • Bike Share: Boston’s Hubway program was launched in August 2011 with 61 stations located throughout the city.  Five stations are located on the Charles River Campus.  The Center is just a short walk from the nearest Hubway station located on Commonwealth Avenue in front of the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • White Roof: The roof at the Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center is designed to minimize the urban heat island effect and reduce energy use by using a white roofing membrane, rather than a conventional black one.  The white roof reflects the sun’s energy, thereby reducing the amount of cooling needed in the summer time.

Water

  • Water Efficiency: Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center uses water saving devices such as low-flow lavatory and kitchenette faucets, and water efficient toilets and urinals to promote water efficiency and have resulted a 38% reduction in water use over a standard building.
  • Irrigation Water Use:  The landscape features of the Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center were designed to reduce water use by 57% thru the use of drought-tolerant species, high efficiency sprinklers, and drip irrigation compared to a traditional landscape designs.

Energy

  • Energy Efficiency:  Building energy efficiency is a high priority for all new buildings designed, renovated or built on campus. The Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center is designed to be more than 36% more efficient than a building that simply meets the energy code. This design includes an improved thermal envelope, high efficiency glazing, reduced interior light power density, and occupancy controls.
  • Lighting: All lighting systems in the Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center contain energy-efficient LED and fluorescent technology, which is provided throughout the building. LED lighting lasts much longer than traditional lighting while using a fraction of the energy, helping reduce overall lighting energy consumption by 53% over a typical building of this type.
  • Occupancy Sensors:  Occupancy sensors are used in offices, conference rooms, and storage rooms.  The sensors interface with the building automation and dimming systems to allow heating, cooling, and lighting to automatically be turned down or off when spaces are not occupied.

Materials

  • Building Reuse: The Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center was originally built as the Hillel House in 1953, the adaptive reuse of this historic structure is a prime example of the University’s efforts to re-purpose existing buildings to maintain the historic character of the community and preserve the embodied energy of these structures. More than 86% of the original building structure, walls and exterior were preserved through this renovation.
  • Recycled content of materials:  Over 14% of the materials used in the Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center came from recycled sources. Using recycled materials reduces the unnecessary use of virgin natural resources and generally requires much less processing than new materials. In addition to this, 97% of construction waste was diverted from landfills.
  • Regionally sourced materials:  More than 15% of the materials used in the Alan & Sherry Leventhal Center were sourced from within 500 miles, minimizing the carbon footprint associated with the transportation of these materials. 96% of the wood used in the building is certified as sustainably harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
  • Hand Dryers: Dyson V hand dryers are in stalled in the restrooms on two floors to reduce waste from paper towels. When considering the life cycle environmental impacts of hand dryers vs. those of paper towels, the overall impact of these hand dryers is less than 1/3 of the overall impact from the use of 100% recycled content paper towels.

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Green Cleaning Program: Boston University has a robust green cleaning program that uses Green Seal and Ecologo certified cleaning products for over 70% of the materials used for cleaning on campus. At the Admissions Reception Center, our custodial staff uses 100% Green Seal and Ecologo certified cleaning products and procedures. Using sustainable products minimizes the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants.
  • Low VOC Materials: Boston University uses low VOC materials in all its projects. Throughout the Admissions Reception Center all composite wood products are built with no added urea-formaldehyde to ensure healthy air quality during construction and occupancy. Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are commonly found in products like paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants and flooring and can be harmful to both human and environmental health. Until recently they were essential to the performance these products.
  • Dedicated Exhaust: Rooms with chemicals or equipment where hazardous gases may be produced are equipped with ventilation systems to remove these indoor air pollutants.

Quick Facts:

Total Building Area: 19,000 gsf
Architects: Goody Clancy
MEP Engineers: RW Sullivan
LEED Consultants Atelier Ten
Landscape Architects Reed Hilderbrand
Geotechnical Engineers: Haley & Aldrich
Structural Engineers: McNamara Salvia
General Contractor: Columbia Construction