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Green Initiatives

Loosely defined as making decisions based on the impact those decisions may have on the environment (climate change, pollution, loss of habitat, etc) going green is at the forefront of Ashley Hall's long term planning both for the physical campus and student life. Three of the main features of going green are 1. focusing on sustainable living, 2. utilizing environmentally friendly products, and 3. recycling and reusing. At Ashley Hall we feel a there is a fourth component to going green: creating and sustaining beautiful, natural environments for growth of the mind and soul. The school has made great strides in achieving these four ideals.

Focus on Sustainable Living

  • Rain Water Collection and Use

    Ashley Hall's Rivers Library and Mercedes Erixon and F. Adelbert Hoshall M.D. Science and Math Center utilizes a state-of-the art rain water collection system to provide water for irrigation of the new green spaces on campus and the water to flush the toilets. Both the Dining Commons and the Rivers Library and Mercedes Erixon and F. Adelbert Hoshall M.D. Science and Math Center have low flow toilets, two setting toilets that conserve water.
  • Hoshall Science Center Green Roof

    Student members of the Green Club and the AP Environmental Sciences class laid the first flats for the Green Roof on the Mercedes Erixon and F. Adelbert Hoshall M.D. Science and Math Center. The plants, which are mainly succulents, will create a micro-climate on the roof that moderates the temperature above and below and assists with water retention. This roof top garden will also create an attractive environment for native butterflies and birds and provide a living laboratory for students.
  • Partner with Local Farmers

    Ashley Hall's new dining philosophy highlights the vital importance of supporting locally grown produce. Sodexo, the school's food provider, currently purchases the majority of produce served in the Dining Commons from local growers like Limehouse Produce. As the new Dining Philosophy continues to be implemented, additional local partners will be introduced.
  • Foot Pedal Sinks

    Several of the kitchen hand-sinks in the new Dining Commons are operated by using a foot pedal. Without this pressure the sink turns off ensuring water is never just turned on and allowed to run, which, of course, conserves water.

Use Environmentally Friendly Products

  • Renewable Resources

    The tables in the dining commons are crafted from bamboo, an easily renewable resource. A 60 foot hardwood tree can take up to 60 years to replace. A 60 foot bamboo plant only takes around 60 days to replace!
  • Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Emitting Products

    High levels of VOC's are harmful to humans and can lead to respiratory problems, headaches and/or nausea. The paints and glues used in the construction of the Rivers Library and Mercedes Erixon and F. Adelbert Hoshall M.D. Science and Math Center were all certified to be Low VOC emitters.
  • Lighting

    The lighting systems in both the Dining Commons and Rivers Library utilize T5 fluorescent bulbs that use a fraction of the energy of standard bulbs. They also are run on an electronic "watt miser," programmable switches, and occupancy sensors to keep lights off when not in use.
  • Air Conditioning System

    The air exchange and conditioning system in the Rivers Library and Mercedes Erixon and F. Adelbert Hoshall M.D. Science and Math Center is state-of-the-art and a large component of the building's LEED certification. It employs several energy saving technologies including a variable refrigerant system, a heat exchange wheel, and a CO2 sensor. Both its design and its position on an enclosed roof area further reduce any potential noise pollution greatly.

Recycle and Reuse

  • Reuse

    Composting organic food waste is made simple in the new Dining Commons. Built into the dish return system is a trough through which vegetable scraps are washed into a grinder and centrifical water extractor. The scraps then travel through a chute and into a bag. Once the bag is full, it is sealed and ready for the compost pile.
  • Recycle

    As is the case at most schools, Ashley Hall still goes through a lot of paper, so the school implemented a comprehensive recycling program with bins found all over campus. Currently Ashley Hall recycles aluminum, paper, and plastics. The Recycling program is supported by the Green Club, which runs "green facts" on the schools closed circuit LCD monitors, encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to recycle.

Sustain a Pleasing Environment

  • Green Spaces

    The green spaces on Ashley Hall's campus have always offered beautiful and serene areas in which to reflect or study. The original playing field is now a healthy field of grass, where a parking lot was for the Humanities House is now Ashley Hall's playscape and outdoor grass-hilled amphitheater, and the parking lot for the old bank property has been turned into a glen suitable for outside dining. The Dining Commons itself offers wide veranda's overlooking this area that will also encourage students to dine outside.
  • Gardens

    Ashley Hall students seem to have been struck with gardening fever in their efforts to help with the greening of Ashley Hall. A butterfly garden to attract native butterflies, a Zen garden for relaxing, a vegetable garden, an herb and rose garden can now all be found growing across campus and tucked into surprising and relaxing places.
  • Palmetto Mix

    The shell and stone mix that has replaced traditional gravel in all the paths around campus comes from a local resource. Not only is it beautiful but it has also provided an unexpected advantage for the students, an outdoor laboratory. On any given day you may see students sifting through the mix looking for fossils and sharks' teeth, often with great success. The largest tooth found to date was over two-inches!
  • Noise Pollution

    Enclosing HVAC systems in sound reducing walls on both the Dining Commons and the Mercedes Erixon and F. Adelbert Hoshall M.D. Science and Math Center roofs has helped to bring down the ambient noise surrounding the girls as they try to study outside or take advantage of the roof top garden or play area on the Dining Commons.