Dickinson College Residence Hall Earns LEED Platinum

By Roxanne Squires

CARLISLE, Pa. — Dickinson College recently earned LEED Platinum certification for their $19 million High Street Residence Hall completed last year.

The 40,000-square-foot building was designed by New York-based Deborah Berke Partner (DBP) to enhance the residential experience for students as well as to qualify for LEED certification. 

The building opened in August 2018 to house 129 students in single- and double-occupancy rooms. Features include ample community space with a great room, living room, kitchen, outdoor patio, indoor bicycle storage room and common spaces for lounging and study.

The building is the college’s first new residence hall in more than 40 years.

On a site that faces the main thoroughfare of Carlisle, DBP designed this new residence hall at Dickinson College to present a formal front to the street and a more casual face to a lawn (and future quadrangle) to the south.

The design of the residence hall includes stone facades on the public side which provides a modern interpretation of the stone of the historic Dickinson campus across the street.

On the lawn side, DBP designed an active and light-filled “campus-connected” facade of large windows and weathered-zinc panels. Whereas the front of the building is at home among Dickinson’s historic buildings, the back activates its environs and fills the building with light.

The building’s E-shaped plan creates a pair of intimate outdoor courtyards for casual gatherings.

The high-performance landscape, designed by Andropogon, manages stormwater on-site.

Inside, sky lit staircases encourage active movement though the building. Hallways double as social spaces with lounge areas and study nooks. Energy-efficient exterior walls and roof, high-efficiency windows and a connection to Dickinson’s central energy plant work to help reduce carbon emissions.

Additionally, an upgraded stormwater-management system, including four rain gardens, minimizes impact to the existing community systems. The project’s landscaping includes 92 new trees and more than 16,000 other plants.

The opening of the hall was the final phase of a historic six-year campus enhancement effort that includes a new athletic training center, soccer field and interdisciplinary greenhouse as well as an expansion of the Kline Fitness Center and Rector Science Complex.

Lancaster County-based Benchmark Construction also led the work on the building.

Reports from Deborah Berke Partners and Dickinson College contributed to this story.