Two Additional Eden Hall Campus Buildings Achieve LEED Platinum Status

Date Posted: 06.04.2021

Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus has achieved LEED for New Construction Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for two additional buildings, the Esther Barazzone Center and Orchard Hall. These certifications bring the total to four LEED Platinum certified buildings on the campus, home to the university’s Falk School of Sustainability & Environment. The Field Labs, The Anne Mallinson ‘61 Café and related site development received LEED Platinum certification in 2018.

“The uniquely integrated water, energy, food, habitat, learning and living systems at Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus are an exemplary model for universities and campus development nationally,” said Mithun partner and landscape architect Deb Guenther, FASLA. Most remarkable though is the way students, faculty, community, Richland Township and greater Pittsburgh worked together to create a new way of being in the world—imagining, collaborating and living with holistic systems that sustain us physically and socially. It’s possible and it all came together at Eden Hall campus.”

“The transformative power of these Platinum LEED-certified buildings goes beyond their important sustainability benefits. These structures, and the learning and innovation that happen within them, demonstrate that a better future is possible. Indeed that future lives today at Eden Hall,” remarks Lou Leonard, Dean, Falk School & Eden Hall Campus.


The four projects achieved 138 of 140 possible points for energy performance. Highlights include:

  • A geothermal energy loop connects all buildings on campus, and is able to move energy between the various buildings and uses.
  • Radiant heating and cooling connected to ground source heat pumps provide consistent temperatures year-round.
  • Solar thermal panels connected to the underside of the PV panels cool to enhance efficiency and provide hot water preheat. Excess heat is rejected to the energy loop.
  • In the Esther Barazzone Center’s all-electric commercial kitchen, heat recovery and carefully tailored food service processes minimize refrigeration loads.The campus operates as a microgrid with a mix of solar PV, geothermal and microturbines that produce the majority of power on campus.

The four projects achieved all possible credits for water efficiency and site water. Highlights include:

  • A constructed wetland wastewater treatment system provides superior wastewater treatment onsite using a plant-based biological system for three of four buildings.
  • Potable water consumption is reduced through the use of captured rainwater and treated effluent from onsite water treatment for irrigation and toilet flushing campus-wide.
  • Water is reused when possible, for toilet flushing, and any excess is slowly recharged to the groundwater through the subsurface land application system which provides one additional level of filtration through the biologically active soils.
  • Low-flow fixtures reduce water use by more than 41% in all buildings.


  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood is maximized where possible, and ranges from 62%-100% of the wood used in the Esther Barazzone Center, Orchard Hall and the Field Lab. Anne Mallinson ‘61 Café reused more than 75% of the existing wood structure.
  • Campus-wide, 94% of all construction waste was diverted from landfill.

Site Ecology

  • The design also focuses on management of invasive plants and animals, and the provision of stream buffers, wildlife habitat crossings and substantial landscape buffers along the campus perimeter, with 40% of the land in a permanent conservation easement.
  • The site design includes more than 1,000 new trees and 4,000 new shrubs with more than 59 tree species, 55 shrub species and a complex meadow system instead of the monoculture of turf grass.

“The Chatham leadership team and board provided unparalleled vision to create this deep green living learning environment,” said Mithun design partner Dave Goldberg, FAIA. “While the historic farm produced food and crops, this groundbreaking era at Eden Hall will sow generations of environmental leaders well into the future.”

Learn more about the sustainable design strategies and innovative results at Eden Hall Campus, a 2017 AIA COTE Top Ten Project.

Mithun provided integrated design services for the Eden Hall Campus, including architecture, interior design and landscape architecture. Additional team members include Interface Engineering (MEP), Biohabitats (Constructed Wetlands and Water System Design), Civil and Environmental Consultants (Civil), KPFF Engineers (Structural), The Marshall Associates (Food Service), WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff (Lighting), Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (Envelope), Studio Pacifica (Accessibility), CJL Engineering (Commissioning), Rothschild Doyno Collaborative (On-site Project Management), and Sota Construction (General Contractor).