With a fresh approach to student housing, Bastyr University groups students together in a cluster of 11 LEED-Platinum cottages to form a village based on collaboration, resource sharing, and a dedication to healthy living. The design team not only reworked the traditional concept of student housing, but did it affordably by eliminating the corridors, multiple stairwells, and elevators found in typical dormitories. Concrete floors with radiant floor heating were speced, and ample, operable windows negated the need for air conditioning and reduced lighting demands.

The residents, 12 to a cottage, enjoy their own private bedrooms and bathrooms, each with low-flow faucets and showerheads and dual-flush toilets. Other amenities include washing machines with a Water Factor of 3.85, Energy Star–rated appliances and lighting fixtures, individual programmable thermostats, and built-in study nooks.

The unconventional, sustainable touches continue outside. The university’s garden coordinator collaborated with the design team to transform the landscape plan into a permaculture teaching garden containing plants with medicinal, nutritional, and soil-healing properties, prompting the school to establish a new course of study in Holistic Landscape Design.

Click here to see all the 2011 EHDA winners