New standards for sustainable building systems

2 min read

Harvard has released the latest version of its Green Building Standards, aimed at building healthier, more efficient buildings across campus. The Standards, which apply to all capital projects, are a key tool for helping the University meet its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal through the design and construction of sustainable building spaces. An associated Life Cycle Cost policy ensures that project teams evaluate and chose energy efficient technology that will provide environmental benefit in a cost-effective manner.

“The Green Building Standards play a critical role providing our project managers with the tools they need to pursue a holistic approach to sustainable building systems,” said Pamela Choi Redfern, SEAS Director of Space Planning and Design and one of two co-chairs of the review committee that developed the Standards.

The updated Standards include healthy material requirements for the disclosure of health and environmental impacts of products in order to assess opportunities to understand the community’s exposure to potential toxins. They also include aggressive energy reduction targets, requirements for analyzing the feasibility of Net-Zero and Living Building Challenge certification for major capital projects and special considerations for laboratories and data centers, the most energy-intensive spaces on campus.

“The thorough review and collaboration of the committee helped us to strike the proper balance between setting the bar where it was attainable and ensuring that we continued to challenge ourselves to push the limits of what is possible,” said HGSE Jason Carlson, Chief of Operations, who served as the second co-chair of the review committee.