Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College

News & Events

Sustainable dining

Chase wins certification for environmentally-friendly design and operations

The renovation of Chase Dining Hall has not only improved the college’s dining program, it has also made the sleek, new facility “greener.”

The building has earned honors from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as a LEED Silver certified facility based on the energy efficiency measures built into the design, its use of recycled materials and the “green” construction practices employed during the project.

“We are very proud to have achieved LEED Silver status for this project,” said Brian Douglas, Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration. “We wanted to ensure Chase not only created a welcoming environment for students but also reflected our shared values.

“It can be very challenging to renovate an older building to LEED standards, particularly a 60-plus year old dining facility built under a very different set of goals and conditions.  But we are deeply committed to sustainability, we embraced this challenge, and are proud of the outcome,” Douglas said.

The new design incorporates eco-friendly features, including energy-efficient windows, roofing and air ventilation systems, high-efficiency bathroom hand dryers, LED lighting throughout and vinyl flooring made largely with natural and recycled materials.

Overall, the newly renovated dining hall uses approximately 18 percent less energy than a typical dining hall of the same size.

The attention to sustainability in the project design extended beyond the building itself, encompassing the recycling of more than 95 percent of construction debris during the renovation, the recycling of food waste in daily operations and installation of landscaping that has eliminated the need for outdoor irrigation.

The Chase renovations began with replacement of all of the building’s basic infrastructure, creating an open-concept dining experience in which food preparation happens at independent cooking and serving stations, in full view of students on a made-to-order basis.

The newly renovated Chase Dining Hall, which opened in September 2015, has certainly been a hit with students, faculty and staff. In fact, students, faculty and staff and students gave the facility particularly high marks in a survey measuring improvements made to the program over the past year.