Since February, University of Richmond has been in the process of building two new housing facilities that will be open to undergraduates starting fall 2014.

Next academic year, Richmond students will be able to live in Westhampton Residence Hall or the South Campus apartments, said Chuck Rogers, director of design and construction for Richmond Facilities.

Westhampton Residence Hall, located behind South Court, will be a coed, suite-style resident hall with three to four students per unit, Rogers said. Its overall design and layout will be similar to Lakeview Hall and will be available to sophomores and juniors.

Like the current University Forest Apartments, the new South Campus apartments will feature two double rooms with four students per unit. The apartments will consist of four buildings with an outdoor courtyard space between them, giving the complex a unique village feel, Rogers said.

To assist with the design process, Richmond hired two outside architectural companies, Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas (HEWV) of Norfolk, Va., and BCWH Architects in Richmond. HEWV designed Westhampton Residence Hall and BCWH designed the South Campus Apartments, Rogers said.

Given the ongoing efforts to make campus facilities greener, both projects are expected to meet Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) silver standards, Rogers said. According to the LEED website, the six categories of LEED building criteria are: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, environment quality and innovation in design. Projects must earn a specific number of points to satisfy green building requirements.

Since 2007, Richmond has agreed to build all projects in accordance to LEED silver standards or higher, said Andrew McBride, associate vice president for facilities. McBride, a university architect, is also a LEED-accredited professional.

"Richmond has committed itself to becoming climate-neutral by 2050, in that we don't have any greenhouse gas submissions," McBride said. "By 2020, we plan to reduce our level from the 2008 baseline by 30 percent."

When construction on the South Campus apartments is complete, Richmond plans to demolish several UFA blocks, Rogers said. In addition to apartments located by the intramural fields (1500-1700 blocks), the 200 and 900 blocks will be knocked down next summer.

"The new South Campus apartments will help us create a better experience as you enter campus on River Road," McBride said. "All of this construction is about the university getting back to its roots of collegiate gothic architecture."

In 2011, Richmond released its Campus Master Plan, detailing future construction projects. In addition to creating new properties and enhancing existing facilities, the plan seeks to make campus more welcoming, navigable and sustainable.

Keller Hall, Jeter Hall and Thomas Hall are among the next dorms that will undergo renovations, McBride said. In addition to housing updates, Richmond recently announced that it will welcome The Queally Center for Admission and Career Services, although specific dates are unknown.

Contact Collegian Reporter Gaby Calabrese at gaby.calabrese@richmond.edu

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