Converse's LEED-Certified Apartment Housing Project Wins Top Design Award

The Heath photo by Fred Martin Photography
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The South Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-SC) presented its highest design award for Converse College's The Heath apartment housing, a LEED-certified project by architectural firm LS3P, during its Spring Conference Awards Gala on May 4 in Charleston, SC. The Heath garnered both The President's Award and a Merit Design Award during the event.

"The Heath provides a sense of community for students who enjoy living and learning together in a highly interactive lifestyle."

The Heath, a $12.3 million project, opened in January 2011 as part of a 10-year master housing plan that will impact every residence hall on campus, creating progressively independent living environments that balance community and connectedness with the development of autonomy and independence. Inside The Heath are three distinctive floor plans, featuring a kitchen, living room and options for single or double rooms. Common areas are designed to integrate residential living with academic and social events that bring all members of the greater Converse community together.

"The Heath provides a sense of community for students who enjoy living and learning together in a highly interactive lifestyle," said Chuck Hultstrand, a principal with LS3P. "The architecture captures the heritage of the historic campus while using contemporary details that express the current campus vision."

"The planning process was marked by a distinctive and thoughtful approach that supports Converse's strategic goals of advancing community and creativity," said Converse president Betsy Fleming. Student input was prioritized throughout the project through focus groups, surveys, and their participation on project committees. "The significant level of their involvement strengthened the finished product," Fleming said. Students also left their mark on the new construction by signing a beam that was installed in the facility.

The Heath is Converse's second LEED-certified building project, following the renovation of Kuhn Hall in 2009.

AIA South Carolina (AIA/SC) is a Chapter and statewide component of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) with over 900 members throughout the state. Nationally, AIA is compromised of over 80,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals and allied partners who are committed to excellence in design and livability in our nation's buildings and communities.

LS3P is an architecture, interior architecture and planning firm providing services nationwide from their offices in South Carolina and North Carolina. The combined offices have received over 400 awards for excellence in design. Their mission is to engage clients and communities, to design meaningful places, with proven results that transform.