The University of Minnesota has had numerous renovation on multiple buildings to enhance energy efficiency, as well as urging and pushing the campus towards a more sustainable lifestyles. One of the most recent renovations was done on Comstock Residence Hall dining room.
Diners returning to the Comstock Hall Restaurant after the winter break are witnessing an "extreme dining room make-over" with a total transformation of the dining room spaces. Carpet, tables and chairs have been updated with environmentally friendly products. The furnishings are not only made from recycled materials, but the products are made from materials that are also easily recycled when it comes time to renovate again.The new tables also boast laminates and wear layers made of 100% natural corn and soy product which are adhered to the substrate using a vacuum process and water-based adhesive. Complementing the tables are equally bio-friendly wood chairs.As an added bonus, seating is manufactured from reusable/recyclable materials using processes that seek to minimize waste of natural resources. This endeavor started as a "green" project long before the new furniture and carpeting arrived. Comstock Hall residents were involved from the very beginning with choices of carpeting and furniture. The old furnishings were, when possible, repurposed to other residence halls, other university buildngs and to the general public through the University's ReUse Center. The project strived to reduce the amount of material that would eventually end up in landfills - seeking to recycle and repurpose as much material as possible.
Similarly, the new residential Restaurant located in the University's new 17th Avenue Residence Hall also features biofriendly furnishings.
The decor incorporates natural materials. All tables and chairs were made by a local company from sustainable materials. Frosted glasses serves to divide the space but also allows light into any part of the facility. In addition, high windows were also incorporated to reach MN B3 building standards. In order to make the facility as efficient as possible, the hoods feature demand control ventilation and an energy-efficient dishwasher. Other sustainable features include high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, a vegetated roof, rainwater reclamaion system and other heat recovery mechanical systems.