By Dan Armstrong, JMU Public Affairs
When James Madison University Dining Services surveyed students while developing its master plan last year, they were told a few things were top priorities. One was a service location in Carrier Library. Another was increasing environmental stewardship.
With the opening of a new Starbucks coffee shop on the first floor of Carrier, JMU students can now enjoy the state's first expected LEED-certified Starbucks on a college campus.
"We want to be pioneers in making sure Dining Services is LEED and green and that we're building locations that are serving students and the environment. Dining services is one of the largest places that we use energy, so we want to make sure as we move into the future that we're part of the solution," said Stephanie Hoshower, director of JMU Dining Services. "Our students make choices based on the integrity of the business that's providing them services, so we want to be part of their solution as well."
The full-scale store offers late-night hours and a large menu including traditional coffee, beverages and pastries as well as light meal fare and a variety of organic selections for the convenience of students studying at the library. But it's the store itself that environmentally conscious patrons will marvel at.
What is LEED?
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Construction seeking LEED ceritification is rated on a 100-point scale. The point system was developed to improve building performance in energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources. The system is flexible enough to apply to all building types, commercial as well as residential, according to the GBC.
More information about LEED can be found on the GBC Web site.
Information about JMU's sustainability efforts can be found on the Web site for the Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World.
Hoshower said the store is expected to be LEED-certified at a silver level after inspections in a few weeks. Among the green features are structures built using locally or regionally sourced wood and stone, refurbished tables and wainscoting, low-emission LED lighting and a large recycling station.
Under the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment signed in 2008 by JMU President Linwood Rose, all new campus construction projects will be built to LEED silver certification standards.
Things that qualify a building for LEED certification aren’t necessarily obvious to the average customer.
"If you just look at the store, no one would know it was built to be LEED-certified. They would just think it looks great," Hoshower said. "It's a space that people are going to be able to use and enjoy, and be green at the same time."
Starbucks is focused on increasing its commitment to environmental stewardship as well, said Dwayne Hoffman, the company's regional business development director.
"We have a very good existing relationship with James Madison and Dining Services. Starbuck's has connected very well with the students here," Hoffman said. "We understood the LEED initiative was a big driver. The university is very high on the green development, and that certainly fits right in with what Starbuck's wants to present in our stores.
"JMU is ahead of the curve, obviously, getting this store put in so quickly," he said, noting that Rose was a major force behind striving for LEED certification. "This is a great representation of what we like to put out there in our green initiatives too. It absolutely is a model, and we'd like to share it more with this licensee, Aramark, and certainly use it as a model for Starbuck's nationally on college campuses."
JMU continues to operate a Starbucks at the Top Dog Café in Phillips Hall. Later in the semester, the new store plans to introduce a student art contest, a customized JMU reusable mug and a coffee ground recycling program.
Hours for the new store are 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday-Wednesday; 7:30-11 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; noon-6 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m.-midnight Sunday.
Published August 2009