LEED Certified Dormitories & Faculty Residences


Holderness School in Holderness New Hampshire is a private secondary education community that “quietly pursues excellence, while celebrating the challenges and beauty of living life to its fullest.”  Founded in 1879 and located in the heart of New Hampshire the school values tradition balanced with moving forward into the future.

With these principles in mind, the school contacted New Hampshire Architects, Samyn-D’Elia Architects, to design two dorm/faculty residence buildings.  The buildings were to keep the time-honored New England architecture but also make this project a template for sustainability programming on campus.  Some of those features, such as solar orientation, solar hot water, photovoltaic power production and a heat recovery system contributed to Gold LEED certification for both dorms.

The design includes two groups of buildings, each group with a dormitory housing 24 students, and alongside of each dormitory are three residences for faculty and their families. Each building has been painted a separate color to give a quality of  uniqueness resembling a small New England neighborhood.



 The new dormitory and faculty residences are connected to the campus via a new porous pavement.  Instead of rain water running off into sewers, porous paving is a ”Green” principle that allows the water on the pavement to filter down & seep back into the surrounding soils. 


A direct result of receiving Gold LEED certification is the students monitoring the use of electricity, propane and water use.  This data will be displayed in a real-time, web-based energy display in the living room of each building and will provide the basis for classroom studies, environmental and science projects, dorm competitions and other school programs.


 The student dorm living room opens onto a terrace via French doors.  The trellises provide shade from the summer sun but allow the lower angle of the winter sun come through.


Solar panels and sky lights are only two of many the green building principles applied to the buildings.



Daylight is a sustainable building principle that reduces electric lighting.  Recycling is an important practice for all to follow.   The students rigorously participated in the job site recycling program during construction and continue to recycle in the dorm.  It appears here, however, that the sunlight and expansive cheerful space are simply being enjoyed.



The faculty residences are designed to provide a comfortable, modern home.  The mudroom, filled with sunlight and cubbies welcome the families even when it’s cold and snowing outside.




The kitchen is open to the living room and has the popular feature of a center island.




 On the left is an example of a faculty residence living room with a fireplace, flanked by a built-in bookcase and television/media cabinet.  A clear example of comfort and beauty overlaying the energy efficient and sustainable building.  While providing privacy for the faculty family, the is direct student access through a study opening directly onto a dorm-connecting vestibule.




Pictures by Joe St. Pierre






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