University Housing
Photo of inside Starin Hall and outside

Sustainable Residence Hall Features

There are several features in our residence halls that we use to help reduce our carbon footprint on campus. These features include things such as Energy-Star appliances, temperature controls, and sustainably-designed furniture!

Here are just a few.  Scroll down to see descriptions for each feature.

  • Central Temperature Controls
  • Energy-Star Appliances
  • Elevators
  • Fluorescent Lamps
  • Sustainably-Designed Lounge Furniture
  • Low VOC Paint
  • Machine Rooms
  • Motion Sensors
  • Sustainably-Designed Office Furniture
  • Recycled and C&A Carpeting
  • Vacuum Cleaners
  • Water Bottle Filling Stations
  • Energy Efficient Windows
  • Front Desk Recycling Initiatives
  • Mattress Recycling
  • Dual Flush Toilets
  • Low Flow Faucets
  • Low Flow Shower Heads
  • Energy Efficient Washers
  • Green Cleaning Supplies

Central Temperature Controls

The heat in our buildings is monitored and managed via a temperature control application from Johnson Controls.  As the external temperature goes down, the amount of steam distributed to the building to heat the building rises.  As the external temperature goes up, the amount of steam distributed to the building decreases.  Students in Starin Hall are able to change the temperature in their rooms 2.5 degrees up or down from the 68 degree heat temperature or the 76 degree cooling temperature.  Steam is and always has been a very cost effective way to heat buildings.


The department of University Housing has made a commitment to install traction elevators instead of the hydraulic style or elevator system with a large mechanic unit.   The traction elevators are driven by equipment that is installed on the shaft wall that raises and lowers the elevator instead of the hydraulic elevator that uses a large shaft underground with hydraulic fluid being forced in or removed to allow the elevator to go up or down.  The traction elevator is known to use less electricity, is faster and doesn’t result in any fluids leaking into the ground.

Energy Star Appliances

State mandated appliances are located in the residence halls, such as refrigerators that use an average of 500 KWH per year and use about three percent less energy than federal standards require.  Other energy star appliances include stoves, etc.

Fluorescent Lamps

Low mercury level (1.7mg) lights are used in the residence halls.  These lights also consume very low amounts of energy (32 watts).

Lounge Furniture

Due to the design, this furniture only needs to have components replaced rather than the entire piece if something happens to get damaged.  Also, our wooden chairs and stools incorporate a “bent-ply” construction that maximizes the lumber yield for managed forests used in the furniture.  The fabrics that we choose are made from 100% recycled materials.  The company that produces our furniture, Sauder, is also located within 500 miles of UW-Whitewater, making it a more “green” choice than alternatives.

Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) Paints

Property Solution Interior Latex Semi-Gloss paint was used, which contains a VOC level of only .37 lb./gal.

Machine Room less Elevator

Machine rooms without elevators, a great energy saving initiative, are located in Arey, Tutt, Fischer, and Wellers halls.

Motion Sensors

Motion sensors, which ensure that lights are only on when people are actually using them, are being located in all common areas during building renovations or new building construction.  Motion sensors are activated by movement and turn the lights on for a stated length of time.  When there is no movement, light turn off and remain off.

Office Furniture

University Housing’s choices for office furniture are Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) certified. SCS is proud to support businesses working to improve their environmental bottom line.  This quality assurance means that consumers who seek out the SCS label can trust that their purchases directly support responsible forest management.  In addition to conserving forest land, using FSC-certified wood enables builders to earn LEED Materials and Resources (MR) Credit 7 for their projects.  Most of the fabric is made from 100% recycled content.

Recycled and C&A Carpeting

Carpeting in new construction contains as much as 40.7% recycled content, which a small percentage from post-consumer additions.  Remodeled halls also have carpeting made from recycled materials.  R3 Modular Tile Products contain 44-57% recycled material.  Tandus also has a carpet collection and recovery system that recycles all vinyl based carpet 100%.

Vacuum Cleaners

Sanitaire SC9180 vacuum cleaners are used in the residence halls.  These vacuums use a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration.  Sanitaire is a certified and recognized member of the United States Green Building Council.

Water Bottle Filling Stations

The water bottle filling stations attached to many of the drinking fountains in residence halls and university housing buildings help to reduce a dependency touchless and sanitary process.  The Green Ticker, located above the stations, shows how many water bottles have been saved from landfills by using this technology.


All windows are given certain ratings.  U-Values indicate the rate of heat loss that the window has.  The lower this number is the better.  The R-Value rating is the resistance to heat loss that the window has.  With R-Values, the higher number is always better.  The ratings given to the new hall windows in the 4250 model have a U Value (rate of heat loss) of 0.68 to 0.54 and an R-Value (resistance to heat loss) of 1.47 to 1.85.  The 3250-Zero Sightline windows have U-Values of 0.36 to 0.76 and R-Values of 1.32 to 2.78.  Windows that have been replaced in our buildings have been replaced with 4100i Slider windows, with U Values of 0.65 to 0.50 and R-Value of 1.54 to 2.0, and G300 windows, with U-Values of 0.29 to .32 and R-Values of 3.13 to 3.45. Windows that have been replaced in the past have been replaced with H-Windows, having U-Values of 0.37 to 0.25 and R-Values of 2.7 to 4.0.  The Simmons windows that can be found in Wellers and Fischer Halls are also energy efficient and provide accessibility.

Front Desk Recycling

A number of items are recycled at the front desks of each of the residence halls, including:

  • CFL light bulbs
  • Personal toner cartridges
  • Batteries
  • E-Waste

Mattress Recycling

We recycle all mattresses that can be recycled (comprised of steel springs w/cotton ticking). Approximately 500 mattresses were returned to the manufacturer and recycled during the 2009 summer.  225 more mattresses were recycled in the summer of 2010.

Dual Flush Toilets

These toilets allow direction flushing, one way for solid waste and one way for liquid waste, allowing for water conservation.  The Sloan WES Dual Flush Valve and Zurn toilets are located in Tutt, Knilans, and Starin halls, with Fischer and Wellers to follow.  These toilets require 1.6 gallons of water per flush for solid waste and 1.1 gallons of water per flush for liquid waste.  All other halls have Sloan Regal toilets, which require 1.6 gallons of water per flush.


All of the faucets in the residence halls are low flow and water saving.  Faucets in new construction areas and Starin Hall are Zurn models with flow rates of 0.5 gallons per minute in the bathrooms and 2.0 gallons per minute in the kitchens.  The rest of the residence halls have Delta 21C143 models that have water saving flow rates of 1.5 gallons per minute.

Shower Heads

All of the shower heads on campus ensure that our buildings are conserving water.  In the new construction areas on campus, Speakman SM3430-SCS shower heads have a flow rate of only 1.75 gallons per minute.  Even the older shower heads, Symmons #4-141 models, have a flow rate of 2.0 gallons per minute, which is far below the federal mandate of a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute or less.


Maytag White Commercial High-Efficiency Front-Load Washers sense the amount of clothes inside and dispense the correct amount of water, saving at least 50% more water than traditional washers.  These washers are also high efficiency, which means that less detergent is needed for washing.

Cleaning Chemicals

Many of the janitorial products used in the residence halls are either green chemicals or Green Seal Certified, including the following.

Purpose Cleaner/Product Green?
Bathroom (Acid
Blue Spruce Yes
4L – 3M Green
Seal Certified
15L – 3M Green
Seal Certified
Bug Spray
Direct Hit Yes
Bug Spray
Dry Blast Yes
Hydrox Yes
Kaiblooey Restroom
Cleaner – Kaivac
Kaidri Speeds up drying process – Kaivac Yes
Oven Cleaner Deep Clean Yes
Shower Cleaner Northwoods
Shower Foam
Stripper Freedom Yes
Tape Residue Trapper Yes
Unbelievable Graffiti Remover Yes
Walls Envy or 3M Degreaser Heavy Duty Green
Seal Certified
Windows/Mirrors Glass Cleaner 3M Green
Seal Certified
Blue Ox Deep cleaning hard surface cleaner – tile surfaces Yes


University Housing
200 Goodhue Hall
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater


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