BACKSTORY

Plymouth State College (PSU) is a residential university with approximately 4,200 undergraduates and 2,100 graduate students. Founded in 1871, it’s part of the University System of New Hampshire.

PSU is known for its degrees in interdisciplinary studies, business, visual and performing arts, and psychology. Its meteorology department is considered one of the best on the East Coast and because PSU was originally founded as a teachers college, it maintains an outstanding teaching program. PSU also has a distinguished record of community service and engagement.


PROCESS & APPROACH

When Plymouth State approached us, they were very clear about their goals with respect to furniture. We had worked with them in the past and now they wanted the most sustainable option available, which is solid wood furniture.

This choice fit squarely with PSU’s aim for Langdon Woods to become the first collegiate residence hall in New Hampshire to achieve LEED Gold certification. Currently, residence halls can earn multiple LEED credits with DCI’s hardwood furniture.

To this day, PSU proudly includes information about their Landgon Woods’ LEED certification on their website.

Langdon Woods is the first Residence Hall in New Hampshire to receive LEED Certification at the Gold Level. LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a voluntary, national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.*


Locally Sourced & Climate Friendly Furniture

And there were other reasons why DCI was the natural choice for PSU’s sustainable furniture needs. Plymouth is a “stone’s throw” away from the DCI headquarters in Lisbon, NH (40 Miles).

From a sustainability perspective, this was important.

First, buying locally sourced and manufactured furniture ensured that PSU was supporting local jobs and economies. But more importantly, PSU cut down significantly on Langdon Wood’s carbon footprint by minimizing shipping and transport distances.

Furthermore, wood is an amazing carbon sink, so hardwood furniture plays an important role in keeping carbon out of the atmosphere.

Furnishing residence halls with solid wood furniture is a significant way for Universities to reduce and offset their carbon footprint. Compared to other furniture raw materials, solid hardwood is the most climate friendly.


Design Standards

In terms of furniture design, PSU spared no expense. We customized our “campus“ style furniture line for them. And now they have made it their standard of design on campus.

The species of wood for the campus line is hard maple, in a light amber finish. The tops of the desk and chest are solid wood and a full 1 inch in thickness. All the edges are rounded adding a “soft” contemporary appearance.

In the end, it’s clear that PSU had an inspired multidimensional vision for Langdon Woods. The project architects at Cannon Design summarized it best on their website when they assessed Langdon Woods as a:

…highly-sustainable project which incorporates energy-efficient building systems, low- emissive insulating glass, sustainable plantings and stormwater management. However, the real story of Langdon Woods extends far beyond the implementation of a host of sustainable strategies. The design process thoroughly engaged the Plymouth State University community and fostered a bedrock commitment among students to campus- wide sustainable practices, laying the groundwork for future sustainable initiatives.

The workshops sparked the enthusiasm of students and faculty so much that green practices were incorporated in to course curricula. An environmental class computed the carbon footprint for the production, processing and transportation of the project’s construction materials, and an environmental psychology class developed an ethical manifesto delineating a sustainable campus philosophy embracing environmental stewardship.

View Case Study (PDF)

Project Location: Plymouth, NH

Project Size: Approximately 500 sets of furniture

Building Type: Multi-use Residence Hall

Project Team: Plymouth State & DCI

Product List: Beds, Chests, Desks, Wardrobes, Dining tables, & Chair


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