Built Environment

Buildings that Improve the Quality of Life

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends nearly 90% of his or her lifetime indoors. Yale is committed to ensuring healthy living and working environments for people working, living, studying and visiting our buildings. 


Yale’s Efforts

  • Yale is testing a Carbon Charge to assess if price signals can motivate building occupants to save energy.

What You Can Do

  • We want to optimize how and when we condition our buildings. Use buildings during operating hours and avoid heating and cooling spaces unnecessarily.  

Our Objectives and Goals

Transformative Design, Construction, and Maintenance

Develop transformative approaches to project design, construction, and maintenance that address financial, environmental, and social imperatives.

Yale set an aggressive Energy Use Intensity (EUI) for the forthcoming Yale Science Building, resulting in innovative design approaches and what promises to be the most energy efficient laboratory building on campus. The energy-reduction strategies employed will result in positive financial returns and significant campus greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions avoided.

This Objective is supported by the following goal(s): 
Goal: 

High-Performance Design Standards

ON TRACK

By 2019, evaluate existing frameworks for high-performance building design and update Yale design requirements to achieve emissions reductions, optimal performance and use, and positive health and ecosystem outcomes.

Progress: 
  • In keeping with the current requirement that all comprehensive scope construction projects achieve a minimum of LEED Gold certification, Yale has achieved the following LEED certifications:
  • 19 buildings are certified LEED Gold
  • Three buildings are certified LEED Platinum
  • Facilities Planning has embarked on a comprehensive update of the Yale Sustainable Design Requirements to consider the next generation of LEED and other rating systems.  Internal processes and procedures are also being addressed. In addition, the University has initiated the update of the full Yale University Design Standards in alignment with Yale’s climate and sustainability ambitions. 
Goal: 

Campus Development Strategy for Carbon Neutrality

ON TRACK

By 2020, commit to campus development strategy that increases energy conservation and renewable energy generation in support of the carbon neutrality commitment. 
 
Progress: 

Together with Facilities Planning, Facilities Energy Management pursued a process to reduce energy consumption in new construction projects by setting aggressive EUI targets.  They developed multiple strategies early in the design process to ensure that targets are achievable yet ambitious.

Optimal Building Performance

Develop effective approaches to maintenance, operation, and occupancy of buildings that both ensure optimal performance and are responsive to environmental, social, and financial imperatives.

This Objective is supported by the following goal(s): 
Goal: 

Maintenance, Operations, and Occupancy Standards

WE COULD DO BETTER

By 2019, define and commit to updated high-performance standards and protocols for planned maintenance, operation, and building occupancy that comprehensively integrate sustainability.

Progress: 

Facilities Operations has begun to update the Yale Maintenance and Operations standards and protocols. Guidance for occupants has been updated for residential, administrative, and laboratory spaces, and research for clinical guidelines is ongoing. Together with student representatives, building occupancy training was created for the two new residential colleges to encourage sustainable behaviors.

Goal: 

Enhanced Space Use Policy

WE COULD DO BETTER

By 2019, develop and adopt a University policy for efficient use of campus space that improves utilization of university buildings and facilities by identifying and reducing redundancies and excess capacity.

Progress: 

The Provost and Registrar commissioned a study of 300 classrooms (200,000 square feet) for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, considering pedagogical needs, schedule patterns, space configuration, furnishings, seat and room usage. Outcomes include recommendations for more efficient scheduling; improved access to course offerings; and future analysis of administrative, laboratory, library, and residential spaces.