Buildings

 

 

 

Buildings represent one of our greatest sustainability opportunities and challenges. To evolve as a center of learning, pursue world-changing research and respond to pressing environmental concerns, Stanford designs and creates buildings that use resources wisely and provide healthy, productive environments.

In taking on this challenge, we’re inspired by Stanford’s original master plan designer—Frederick Law Olmsted, the visionary founder of American landscape architecture—and directed by Stanford’s Guidelines for Sustainable Buildings. Olmsted envisioned a resource-conserving campus that would respond to its climate and context to achieve beauty and functionality. The guidelines, which new building projects are expected to follow, update that vision for today’s context.

Ensuring that new buildings are as efficient as possible is essential to reducing campus greenhouse gas emissions. Energy generation for heating, cooling and electricity in buildings accounts for 85 percent of our carbon dioxide emissions—and from 2000 to 2025, we expect to build 2 million square feet of new academic facilities and new housing for 2,400 more students, faculty and staff. The Stanford University Medical Center also needs new facilities to continue meeting community and research needs.

It’s also critical that existing buildings use resources sustainably, and we’re making significant investments in efficiency upgrades that reduce energy and water use in existing buildings. See Energy and Water for details.

Goals & Results

Space utilization:

Even before we build, we conduct rigorous space-utilization studies to see if we can renovate existing buildings to create space for new needs. One of our key goals is to recover 5–10 percent of the space in campus buildings. The Department of Capital Planning updated the university’s Space Planning Guidelines in 2006 and is conducting studies to ensure that we add new space only when necessary. Studies have found that offices applying the guidelines could recover up to 10 percent of their space.

To encourage more efficient use of office space, Stanford requires selected schools to pay a charge for underutilized space. Several schools are working to reduce their space charge, with efforts such as conducting master space plan studies and renovating spaces in conformance with the Space Planning Guidelines.

Resource conservation:

Stanford set new energy- and water-reduction targets in 2008. Energy use in new and significantly renovated buildings must be 30 percent more efficient on average than current energy code requirements. New buildings must reduce potable water use by 25 percent or more compared with similar traditional buildings.

Stanford’s green building projects are meeting and exceeding these goals:

  • The Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment + Energy Building uses 42 percent less energy and 90 percent less potable water than a similar building with traditional fixtures and systems.
  • The 360,000-square-foot Knight Management Center is designed to exceed current energy efficiency standards by at least 40 percent and use half the potable water of a similar building with traditional fixtures and systems. The building recently earned a LEED-NC Platinum® rating from the U.S. Green Building Council – the organization’s highest certification level.
  • The Law School's William H. Neukom Building is LEED-NC Gold-equivalent and exemplifies high-performance design and construction principles that are now common practice on campus.

Learn more about green building projects.

Download the Green Building Operations fact sheet.

“If we are to leave our children a better world, we must take steps now to create a sustainable environment. So it is critical that we model sustainable citizenship on our own campus.”
— John Etchemendy
Provost, Stanford University
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993—and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
About 60 percent of Stanford’s total contiguous land remains undeveloped.
Recycled paper is less expensive than virgin paper under the campus-wide office supply contract.
From 2002 to 2010, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 48 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Effective August 1,2014:
Irrigation in Faculty & Staff Housing may occur only on Tuesday and Saturday nights for even numbered addresses, and Wednesday and Sunday nights for odd numbered addresses, between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
The goal of Sustainable IT is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our IT infrastructure.
Stanford invests IN sustainability through a broad range of initiatives in research, education, efficiency improvement, conservation systems, new technology, student-led projects and more.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.
Systems retrofits to the most energy-intensive buildings on campus are expected to save $4.2 million a year and cut energy use by 28 percent.
About 40 percent of Stanford Dining produce is organic or regionally grown; some is even grown on campus.
From 2002 to 2008, the percentage of Stanford employees driving alone to campus dropped from 72 to 51 percent.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
Stanford diverted 64 percent of its solid waste from landfills in 2008—more than 14,500 tons.
The Energy Retrofit Program has delivered an estimated cumulative savings of over 240 million kilowatt-hours of electricity since it began in 1993—and prevented 72,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
Stanford completed 50 major water efficiency retrofit projects from 2001 through 2008, pushing down average domestic use from 2.7 million gallons per day (mgd) in 2000-01 to less than 2.3 mgd in 2007-08, despite campus growth.
New buildings must use 30 percent less energy and 25 percent less potable water than similar traditional buildings.

RECOGNITION & AWARDS

First Place, ASHRAE Technology Award, for the Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2) in the new institutional building category (2011)

Design Award of Excellence, for Stanford Law School, William H. Neukom Building, Society of American Registered Architects (2011)

Green Project of the Year, for the Graduate School of Business’ Knight Management Center, Silicon Valley Business Journal (2010)

Best Green Building in the Bay Area, for Y2E2, San Francisco Business Times (2008)

Top Ten Green Projects, for the Carnegie Institution’s Global Ecology Research Center, American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (2007)

Leadership in Applying Green Building Design, for Stanford Dining, PG&E (2006)

Top Ten Green Projects, for Jasper Ridge Field Station, American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (2005)

Energy & Sustainability Award, for Jasper Ridge Field Station, American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter (2005)