Dickinson College LEED Platinum Residence Hall

Market: Residential - Education
Type: Mid-rise
Location: Carlisle, PA
Developer / Owner: Dickinson College
Architect: Deborah Berke Partners
Building Size: 91 dorm rooms; 41,677 sf
Project Services: Energy Modeling, Green Building Certification, Inspections & Performance Testing
Certification: LEED® v2010 Multifamily Midrise Platinum

Project Background:

Dickinson College’s latest addition, the High Street Residence Hall, is the campus’s fifth LEED certified building and the first dormitory in the state of Pennsylvania to earn the USGBC’s highest honor, LEED Platinum. Overall, the building is expected to use 24% less energy than a code-built building of the same size and type. This accomplishment will help Dickinson to achieve their campus-wide sustainability goal of carbon-neutrality by 2020.

Designed with sustainability and sociability in mind, the E-shaped footprint and floor to ceiling windows maximize daylight for tenants and create a visual connection to the nature around them.


Project Services:

Steven Winter Associates (SWA) was asked to join the project team to provide Energy Modeling and Green Building Certification services for the LEED Multifamily Midrise program. SWA performed ongoing inspections and performance testing from beginning-to-end of construction to ensure a Platinum rating was achieved.



Primary Energy and Resource Conservation Measures:

  • Well insulated enclosure uses mineral wool insulation outboard of the walls and continuous foam insulation inside to minimize thermal breaks and maximize comfort.
  • Air-sealing that surpasses 2018 code requirements for air leakage by 71%, which almost meets the air-tightness requirements for Passive House.
  • Compartmentalization (minimizes leakage between units) that resulted in an average of 0.11 CFM50/SF, which is 63% less than the LEED prerequisite.
  • Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system that reduces HVAC demand by allowing heat transfer between exhaust air and fresh air supply.
  • Exterior landscape includes rain gardens for stormwater management and filtration.


  • 2019 Innovation in Residential Building Award, USGBC Forever Green Awards

Read more about SWA’s Residential New Construction Services