Dartmouth College is one of the few campuses where town and college meet and share an intact green. The natural beauty of its rural surroundings is central to the College’s identity.The original campus is composed of simply shaped forms that use a palette of materials including brick, copper, and local granite.
The McLaughlin Cluster reinforces the historic campus’ sense of intimacy, but in an innovative way that responds to environmental design initiatives and that is open and expresses the life and activity of students. The cluster provides 343 new beds within a new residential community that allows choices for living and study. A centrally located student commons provides a social heart for the entire complex.
- Reinforces what is best about the historic campus while accommodating current large scale housing programs and needs of today’s students.
- Weaves new with existing and using open space as a campus unifier.
- Optimizes planning opportunities to encourage student interaction by strengthening scales of community.
- Repairs the site (an existing surface parking lot) so that it contributes to the surrounding campus fabric.
- Animates the ground level with multiple entries and covered porches
- Strengthens campus connections by providing views to surrounding courtyards, campus and river valley beyond.
- Distributes comfortable, light-filled social spaces throughout the residence halls to enhance interaction and expresses activity on the buildings’ exteriors.
Design for Inclusivity:
The McLaughlin Cluster is a Living Learning Community that attracts a mixed-class community of upper-class and first year students. Gender inclusive housing is available throughout the cluster and the student experience is equal and un-segregated. Each floor has single-use bathrooms, shared kitchen, lounges, and quiet study spaces. All dorm rooms provide required clearances for disabled occupants, so students with special physical requirements have no limitations in room selection.
Design for Sustainability:
The McLaughlin Cluster design emphasizes the human aspect of sustainability—how students live, learn, and play—in its unique setting. Sustainable initiatives are integrated to benefit the physical environment and the making of place and community.The project brings campus and building planning into the educational experience. The projecthas received LEED Gold certification.
- Radiant heating and cooling reduces energy use and provides greater comfort
- Enthalpy Wheel collects water used in showers to preheat water supply
- Precast floor slab assembly speeds erection time, reduces floor height, and exposes concrete ceiling for radiant heating and cooling.
- Closed cell spray foam insulation at building exterior and double/triple glazing creates a very high performance envelope
- Wood from Dartmouth’s Sustainably Managed Forest used for dorm room furniture
- Energy Efficiency: over 40% energy savings over ASHRAE Standard 90.1
Design for Innovation:
- Project Greenlite: a social energy-use monitoring program was first introduced at the McLaughlin Cluster. Developed by undergraduate students and faculty as part of an Environmental Studies course, students are able to instantly track their energy use creating competition between different residence halls and increasing awareness and involvement in environmental responsibility
- Post Construction Thermal Imaging of the building exterior confirmed that building envelope is performing at a very high level.