Inside Dallas Hall

Dallas Hall: Bringing the Past and the Future Together.

Dallas Hall, the oldest and most iconic building on SMU’s campus, also stands as a symbol of looking toward the future, having recently been awarded LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings. Dallas Hall continues to uphold SMU’s commitment to sustainability. With its certification earlier this fall, Dallas Hall joins 20 LEED certified buildings that have been constructed since 2007, and there are several more buildings on campus pending certification. 

A team of people, including President R. Gerald Turner, Vice President Philip Jabour, and other members of upper-level management with SMU worked to establish operations and sustainability measures to meet LEED standards that resulted in a Gold certification. This achievement is not only important for SMU and Dedman College, but it is also of state and national significance. Dallas Hall is only the second 100-year-old building in the United States to receive this designation and is the first academic building on a Texas university campus to achieve this distinguished title. It’s fitting, then, that Dallas Hall received this certification during the 100-year celebration of its construction.

Dedman College Operations Manager Scot Montague, who worked on the LEED certification team, said, “Not only is the building the symbol for the University, it is a vibrant place where Dedman College faculty reside and innumerable students take their first steps as they matriculate, and often their first coursework as SMU students. The purpose was to ensure that future Mustangs would continue to be educated in and honor the one building, more than any other, that represents the ideals President Hyer and the Methodist church founded and have been sustained with their prescient vision over a hundred years ago.”

LEED certification is issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, and is a voluntary rating system for the design, construction, and management of green buildings. The rating system encompasses separate designations for different building types, existing buildings, construction and design, and building operations and maintenance. Each of the rating systems is made up of a combination of credit categories that assess multiple aspects of the building and its use. Within each category, a building is assigned points, which determines the level of certification, ranging from Certified through Platinum.

Early Dallas Hall

As an existing building, Dallas Hall was the subject of a comprehensive performance audit, which revealed opportunities to increase energy efficiency, improve indoor air quality, and conserve resources over the past year. Finally, the process was completed in August 2015, when Dallas Hall received its LEED Gold certification.

Students who have classes in Dallas Hall, faculty, and staff all played a role in helping Dallas Hall achieve LEED certification through completing surveys to provide more information about building use and transportation to and from the building.

Assessment and the effort to continue to operate sustainably does not end with certification, however. Ongoing management and recertification of Dallas Hall will ensure that the building continues to maintain and improve sustainability efforts.