New Mexico Highlands University Student Housing Project is a 103,000-square-foot sustainable building in Las Vegas, NM, that accommodates 286 college students. The design illustrates New Mexico Highlands University's (NMHU's) responsiveness to the state mandate that new buildings must seek LEED certification and be highly energy-efficient. NMHU partnered with Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, an architect with extensive experience in designing sustainable, high-performance buildings that are also economically viable and meet the needs of tenants.
Dekker/Perich/Sabatini and NMHU chose to pursue EPA's Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR to convey the importance of energy efficiency in the building design. They used EPA's Target Finder tool because it provides the metrics to set and assess superior energy performance goals. New Mexico Highlands Student Housing Project rated 94 out of 100 in the tool and is expected to use 59 percent less energy and produce 59 percent fewer CO₂ emissions than an average similar building. The design also exceeds the state mandate, which requires a 50-percent energy reduction in new buildings.
The project's energy-efficient design features include efficient lighting and mechanical systems, extensive use of daylighting, and operable windows. The dormitory further has dual-flush toilets and low-flow showers and faucets, which are expected to reduce indoor water use by 40 percent compared with an average similar building.
Architect of Record:
New Mexico Highlands University
Design Rating / % Energy and CO₂ Reduction*:
94 / 59%
Design / Completion Date:
2008 / 2009
Estimated Energy Use
Estimated Total Annual
Estimated Annual Energy Cost:
Efficient lighting and mechanical systems; daylighting; operable windows; dual-flush toilets; low-flow showers and faucets.
For More Information:
Julie Walleisa, AIA
*Percent Energy and CO₂ Reductions are compared with an average building of similar type.