Two University of Arizona dorms, Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall and La Aldea graduate housing complex, were recently awarded Energy Star certification, as part of the university's two-year green energy initiative.
"It goes to show that our buildings, not just the people inside the buildings, are more sustainable than a lot of campuses across the country," said Jill Ramirez, coordinator of sustainability education at the university.
Ramirez said to receive the certification, the dorms were tested for air quality, thermal comfort and illumination, and the process also provided a learning opportunity for students.
Nader Chalfoun, a professor of architecture and director of the House Energy Doctor program, had his class audit the dorms as part of a class project.
The UA residence halls are also engaged in a battle with those of Arizona State University in a contest to see which can save more energy.
The competition is part of a nationwide contest, but the two schools are zeroing in on beating each other. Officials at UA believe the rivalry between the schools will drive positive results for both schools.