Annual Features

2018-19 Completed Projects

View the 2018-19 Sustainability Year in Review for more information on energy and water use in buildings and overall campus performance. 

  • Stanford Redwood City  has finished the first phase of construction and  non-academic groups are now occupying the new satellite campus. The campus design responds to the guiding principles and objectives that enrich and carry forward the existing Stanford culture, while offering benefits to the surrounding community. It also sets an example of Stanford’s commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. High-performance strategies for the structures and landscape, coupled with an aggressive transportation management program, will demonstrate responsible stewardship of the site and respect for the community. The Redwood City campus will include a “mini” version of Stanford’s electrically-powered Central Energy Facility, which uses an innovative heat recovery system to meet campus heating and cooling needs.  As a result, natural gas will not be used in any of the individual campus buildings. These features were recently recognized with a Best Practice Award  for Overall Sustainable Design at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference.
  • Two institutes—Chemistry, Engineering, and Medicine for Human Health (ChEM-H) and the Stanford Neurosciences Institute (SNI)—occupy a new 235,000-gross-square-foot facility on the southwest side of campus. The building has a combination of chemistry labs, engineering labs, and computational space and incorporates a number of energy- and water-saving strategies.  The building is the first “test case” for aggressive new energy and water targets, including a number of best practices gained in recently completed lab buildings to make it as efficient as possible.  The facility incorporates advanced envelope and façade design, unoccupied setback of general and fume hood ventilation rates, and use of exhaust air from non-lab spaces to supplement some of the fresh outside air supplied to labs.
  • Stanford constructed four 4,000 academic square-foot District Work Centers (DWCs) that maintenance, operations, and landscaping staff will use to make daily operations more efficient. Formerly, these staff members were all dispatched from the southeast section of campus, and as a result often had to drive a significant distance to and from worksites to respond to calls. The DWCs distribute these workers throughout campus so they can bike or walk to their worksites in response to calls, and will provide them with localized tool storage, workshops, locker room facilities, and drop-in workspaces. The project is part of a holistic effort to increase efficiency across all aspects of campus operations.
  • Frost Amphitheater, Stanford's largest outdoor performance space, was underutilized for years due to outdated infrastructure. The historic venue was restored to new life after a major renovation project added modern restrooms, improved accessibility, and replaced the old stage and "back-of-house" with state-of-the-art facilities that will support many more performances and events. Sustainability was integrated into all aspects of the renovations, emphasizing water conservation, energy efficiency, and habitat preservation. Water efficiency features include campus lake water for irrigation, low flow faucets for sinks and lavatories, high efficiency lighting, lighting controls that comply with California's strict energy code, and high efficiency transformers. To maintain the amphitheater's historic character, mature trees were protected, additional trees were planted, and additional built space was minimized. 

2017-18 Completed Projects

View the 2017-18 Sustainability Year in Review to explore more in-depth data on buildings and grounds. 

  • The 123,000-gross-square-foot Bass Biology Building was constructed as part of Stanford’s Science, Engineering, and Medical Campus Initiative. The building islocated between Gates Computer Science and Mudd Chemistry and provides shared spaces for collaboration; innovative instrumentation; and laboratories for students, faculty, and research staff. Incorporating lessons learned from earlier buildings, Bass Biology uses heat recovery, zone-level heating and cooling, and reduced airflow in labs during non-occupied hours.
  • The 55,000-gross-square-foot David and Joan Traitel Building, an office and conference center for the Hoover Institute completed construction in summer 2017 at the site of the old Cummings Art Building. This project represents the first expansion in over 35 years for the university-affiliated think tank. The building is the first office space to use the new benchmark energy targets. The design team has incorporated heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, and plug load innovations to meet the challenging targets.  Since completion in summer of 2017, the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM) has been tracking building energy use and working with operations staff to address any performance shortfalls.
  • The Denning House was built to serve as a hub for the Knight Hennessey Scholars program, which brings outstanding graduate students to Stanford from around the world. The wooden structure blends into its wooded lakeside site and has a number of sustainable features. It takes advantage of natural ventilation with the help of ceiling fans in the second floor dining room, lounge, and classroom. "Bird friendly" glass was used for the large windows. The glass has a UV pattren on it that is mostly invisible to humans but visible to birds to avoid collisons. The recessed footings and use of boardwalks instead of sidewalks help protect and promote the site's native vegetation. 
  • While Kingscote Gardens is not a new building on campus—in fact, at 100 years old it is among the oldest—the extensive retrofit project that wrapped up in 2018 involved comprehensive updates to almost all aspects of the building, transitioning it from residential to office space for ten different university programs. The retrofit project included updates to the structure of the building to meet seismic safety standards, as well as high-efficiency equipment upgrades across its energy and water fixtures and systems. The building also now includes a shower, to support and encourage those who bike to work.

2016-17 Completed Projects

View the 2016-17 Sustainability Year in Review to explore more in-depth data on buildings and grounds. 

  • As an extension of the Stanford Energy System Innovations program, Stanford recently completed installation of 4.5 MW of solar photovoltaic panels on rooftops across campus. Buildings were chosen based on a variety of factors, including aesthetic concerns, orientation, roof size and slope, and construction issues, and have joined a total of 32 structures with solar photovoltaic panels on their rooftops. Construction wrapped up in spring of 2017, to supply the campus with additional clean energy that feeds directly into facilities, offsetting energy purchased through the grid.


For years prior to 2016-17, please refer to the annual reviews, available in our resource library