Sustainable construction continues at Lipscomb with second LEED-registered project

By |



The summer of 2012 brought a new round of green construction projects to campus, including preparation for one project expected to-be-certified as a green building by the U.S. Green Building Council. 
  • The completed renovation of Fanning Hall not only brought new sustainable operations to the more than 50-year-old residence hall, but it also resulted in hundreds of furniture items donated to charitable organizations and storm relief agencies all over town.

See photos of the Fanning Hall Grand Opening on Sept. 16

  • The newly completed “Lipscomb Lake” features sustainable “spongy landscaping” on its shores, designed to absorb water runoff that would otherwise run into the lake and be passed on downstream during a flood. A walking path is currently under construction through the plantings and xeriscaping, chosen for their smaller appetite for water irrigation. 
  • Finally, this month the university began preparation work on the new nursing building, to be located north of the Hughes Center, which is anticipated to be Lipscomb’s second project registered with the U.S. Green Building Council. The building will demonstrate the university’s continued investment in cost saving, building standards that are responsible and benefit all creation.
“Every new or renovated building on campus in the past five years has focused on two primary principles: providing healthy working and learning environments and expressing Christian leadership through sustainable practices,” said Dodd Galbreath, director of Lipscomb’s Institute for Sustainable Practice. “In doing so, we present evidence of God’s divine power and invisible nature through truly sustainable examples.”
Future nursing building (far left), existing Hughes Center (center),
pharmacy research building (due in 2013).

Fanning Hall
The $5.3-million reconstruction on Fanning Hall, billed the “Extreme Dorm Makeover,” was completed in only 90 days. From May 10 to August 8 crews worked day and night to turn Fanning from a grand dame showing her age, to a pretty young residence hall with new wiring, plumbing, walls and furniture. But the building isn’t all just good looks.
The building has many sustainable design features as well. New toilet and faucet fixtures were installed reducing the gallons of water used by approximately 2.5 million gallons per year over the life of the building. All windows were replaced with high-efficiency replacement windows, exterior doors were replaced with insulated materials and the roof was completely redone, which will help avoid energy leakage and weather intrusion.
The biggest recycling project of all was re-using the existing structure of the building instead of demolishing the building to construct a new one. All furnishings were donated to local churches, charitable organization and storm relief agencies. All metal from the construction debris was recycled and up to 60% of debris was diverted from going to landfills.
For more information on the history of Fanning Hall and to learn how you can still help make it an exciting new home for future generation of Lipscomb women, log on to
Fanning Hall Grand Opening, Sept. 16
Lipscomb Lake
A “remodeled” stormwater detention basin at the corner of Granny White Pike and Shackleford Lane made its debut this summer. This traditional flood control structure was retrofitted with a large decorative fountain and “spongy” landscaping, while maintaining its primary function as storage for excess floodwaters to delay their entry into local streams during heavy rainfall.
The park-like landscape now incorporates many native plants, which are genetically wired to survive Tennessee’s weather and pests and are naturally fertile in the local environment, thus reducing labor, maintenance and replanting costs. The site is still under construction and the university is still in the process of replacing some plants with more sustainable options."
“Lipscomb University’s beautification of this corner spot on campus is a reflection of respect for our Creator’s intelligent design in nature, said Galbreath. “By borrowing from natural solutions to energy, water and waste, we bring attention to his ability to meet all our needs, now and forever.”
Nursing Building
Administrators expect Lipscomb’s new 24,800-square-foot nursing building, to begin construction in October, and to be the second LEED-certified building on campus. The $8.5-million project must be registered with LEED before the project begins and then must earn a specific series of points during construction in order to be certified at the silver, gold or platinum level.
Officials have designed the nursing building to achieve the silver level, earning points for sustainable methods such as recycled-content building materials, low-emission paints and adhesives, energy-efficient windows and roofs, ground-sourced geothermal energy infrastructure and other innovations in sustainable design.
As of July 2011, there were 99 completed or registered LEED building projects in Tennessee, with 29 in Nashville. Upon completion, the Lipscomb nursing building would be the fourth higher education academic building project in Nashville to be LEED certified.
The new nursing building will feature a 16-bed training area that resembles a hospital floor and is equipped with lifelike patient mannequins that can be programmed to simulate a variety of illnesses and responses. The building also includes an assessment skills lab with a 12-station unit that will be used for nursing, pharmacy and other health sciences students to practice their physical assessment and diagnostic skills plus immunization training, safety training, CPR certification and other vital skills.
The nursing building is set to open fall 2012.
Future nursing building.
Sustainable Lipscomb
In recent years, Lipscomb University has enacted specific sustainable practices that establish a new standard in Christian service. The change began with the creation of the Institute for Sustainable Practice in fall 2007, followed shortly by several construction projects that integrated sustainability into facility designs -- The Village, a student housing complex; renovation of the Burton Health Sciences Building; construction of the Thomas James McMeen Music Center; and renovation of the Willard Collins Alumni Auditorium.
Burton, McMeen and Collins together comprise Tennessee’s first LEED-certified academic building at the gold level. All these facilities also use ground-sourced, geothermal heating and cooling systems which save 50-70 percent in energy costs over traditional systems which are highly variable to outdoor temperatures.
Lipscomb’s efforts to adopt progressive sustainable practices throughout the campus and innovative sustainability academic programs were recently honored in the Nashville Post’s Green Heroes of 2011 awards, marking the second time Lipscomb has made Middle Tennessee’s 50 top eco-leaders list.
For more information on sustainable practices at Lipscomb University, visit the Institute for Sustainable Practices website at