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 standards for new construction and renovations address energy and water efficiency, access to natural light and use of nontoxic materials.
- 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.
- Green certify your workspace, laboratory, or next event to help save energy, water, and materials.
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.
With the support of a seed grant from the Yale University Planetary Solutions Project, the Yale Bird-Friendly Building Initiative launched in 2022 to accelerate the adoption of bird-friendly design on Yale’s campus and beyond. The Initiative is co-led by the Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School, the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and the Yale Office of Sustainability. In 2022, the Initiative began two research projects in partnership with American Bird Conservancy, the first to focus on a data-driven action plan for Yale to reduce bird-window collisions on campus.
High-Performance Design Standards
This goal was achieved in 2019. In keeping with the requirement that all comprehensive construction projects achieve LEED Gold certification at minimum, Yale has achieved twenty-seven LEED Gold and three LEED Platinum certifications as of 2022, with fifteen additional projects currently underway.
Campus Development Strategy for Carbon Neutrality
This goal was achieved in 2020. Since then, a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal has been set and campus decarbonization strategies have accelerated. In 2022, the University demonstrated full alignment between capital project planning and long-range energy and emissions modeling through 2032.
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.
Maintenance, Operations, and Occupancy Standards
By 2025, pilot, document, and apply enhanced high-performance standards and protocols for maintenance and operations that integrate sustainability for all Yale-owned and operated energy-intensive buildings.
In 2022, Facilities transitioned to an online maintenance management platform called AssetWorks, which managers leverage to streamline maintenance activities, increasing building efficiency. Robust system analytics of air handling units across Central, Medical, and West Campuses identified high opportunity repairs and maintenance, achieving significant savings of energy and cost and resolving comfort and maintenance issues.
Enhanced Space Use Policy
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.