The Williams College campus integrates historically important and newly-constructed buildings in order to meet the evolving needs of our vibrant campus community. As the College continues to update, upgrade, and construct spaces, the Facilities Planning Design & Construction Group and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives work closely to integrate sustainability into the process.
In 2016, the Board of Trustees approved an updated version of the College’s sustainable building guidelines. These guidelines state that for all capital building projects over $5.3 million dollars, the projects must pursue LEED Gold certification (or a similarly high-performance building standard) or higher. The Trustees have asked that recommendations for an update to these sustainable building guidelines come out of the strategic planning process that is taking place during the 2019-2020 academic year.
While LEED has been a pioneer in the high-performance building standard for some time, in recent years other organizations have brought new and innovative building certifications into the mainstream. The College has experimented with a couple of these certifications that require more sustainable building and operational practices including Living Building Challenge, Zero Energy Certification, and Passive House.
As of 2019, new buildings constructed on campus have been integrating tenets from LEED certification, Petal Certification through the International Living Future Institute, Net Zero Energy and Passive House design.