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Buildings & Grounds

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The built environment at Stanford is a critical component of supporting academic life, and the university designs and creates buildings that preserve existing green space while using responsibly sourced materials to mitigate environmental impacts. Stanford aims to ensure that all buildings on campus are as efficient as possible, which is key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, 93% of campus greenhouse gas emissions come from energy generated for heating, cooling, and electricity in buildings.

To improve building efficiency, design teams refer to the Guidelines for Sustainable Buildings, which were influenced by Frederick Law Olmsted, Stanford’s original master plan designer and the visionary founder of American landscape architecture. Olmsted envisioned a beautiful, functional campus that would conserve resources, while accommodating the surrounding environment. The guidelines, which new building projects are expected to follow, uphold Olmsted’s vision in today’s context.

In addition to meeting energy performance targets for new buildings, the university also makes significant investments to improve efficiency in existing buildings. Upgrades include reducing energy and water use to ensure resources are used sustainably.

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Learn more about current initiatives, our previously won awards, and more.