Sustainability? Coming right up
After years of concentrating only on energy reduction, campuses now adopt broad sustainability performance measures. With AASHE STARS, for example, the focus shifts to emphasize resource conservation. Wide-ranging performance goals at the beginning of facility programming and design combined with a more holistic approach to sustainability on campus leads to optimized building performance.
Measure twice, cut carbon
Reinforcing sustainability planning with measured results is a means of determining an initiative's success. Institutions ask planners and designers to identify the return on investment of sustainability initiatives, not only for economic impact, but also for the entire higher education enterprise. This requires increased use of metrics and performance measurements in early planning and design stages to set a baseline and establish measurable targets for expected results.
We have the tools
Governing boards and state legislatures demand business models that maximize use of campus resources to meet strategic goals. Environmental sustainability planning must engage the entire campus to link resources such as renewable energy, physical plant, finance, academic programs, and budget into an overall institutional strategy. Advanced technology tools gather, analyze, and integrate data in support of an ongoing planning process with integrated decision-making.
Quick Case Study:
Bates College, Dining Facilities; Lewiston, Maine
Sasaki's design for the Bates Dining Commons transformed the college culturally and spatially. The Commons is one of the first capital projects at Bates College in over a decade and reflects the college's commitment to environmentally responsible policies. The design team focused its efforts on reducing energy consumption, carefully selecting materials, and establishing an innovative waste management plan. The building is designed to achieve a minimum of LEED® Silver equivalence.
Sasaki's design work at Bates College began with a campus plan, from which came the concept of creating a pedestrian walkway through the heart of campus and a corresponding dining and campus life center....