New Residence Halls First in the Nation with Geothermal Energy

For over 500 Southeastern students, the 2018-2019 school year began by moving in to one of the two new, state-of-the-art residence halls. Ascension Hall and Twelve Oaks Hall, located adjacent to the former Zachary Taylor Hall, feature private and shared rooms, classrooms, meeting and common areas, and dining and retail venues. But while the roomy, contemporary spaces may be what awe most people who enter these additions, what’s below the surface is perhaps even more exciting.

Ascension and Twelve Oaks Halls have a hybrid geothermal system. With this type of system, pumps move heat from the ground to the building when the weather outside is chilly. When cooling is needed, the process is reversed. The result is a sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and economical solution to heating and cooling.

An initiative of Southeastern Sustainability, the system is the first of its kind for any university or state building in Louisiana. The new buildings, which draw from 220 geothermal wells, are also the second largest site in the country to use a system like this.

In additional to environmental benefits, the system will significantly cut down on heating and cooling costs. It is projected to save over 50 percent on energy expenses as compared to a traditional system and build.

And students will get to feel the effects of this new technology in more ways than one; the system will also serve as a learning laboratory for real world experiences for Southeastern students in various disciplines.

The new residence halls were featured on a recent WWL-TV news story.  Click here to view.

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