Board Endorses Campus Green Building Guidelines

Williams has adopted green building guidelines.  Endorsed by the Board of Trustees as its most recent meeting, the guidelines are the culmination of extensive discussion by the college’s Campus Environmental Advisory Committee (CEAC) and apply to all projects from this time forward.  Williams’ sustainability office, the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, and the Facilities Department provided expertise and support.

These guidelines are intended to help facilities personnel, design teams, and faculty and staff involved with campus development, and recognize that reaching the college’s greenhouse gas emissions targets (to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 1990 levels) will require careful attention to campus growth and the approach to building design.

The guidelines target whenever possible no net increase in emissions from a new building program, and propose such strategies as passive solar energy, providing energy for the building from on-site or off-site renewable sources, and reducing campus demand for energy in other buildings. The guidelines also recommend that building programs should seek LEED Gold certification.

“Facilities is excited about developing an even greener building program than we have today.,” explains Diana Prideaux-Brune, associate vice president for facilities. “These guidelines provide clarity and support to building committees as they struggle to balance the, at times, competing goals of building programs. Given the recent award of LEED Gold for Schapiro and Hollander Halls, we know that we can meet the goals outlined, and are working hard to attain LEED Gold for the new Sawyer Library project even though it was designed before the guidelines were in place.”

“These buildings guidelines are a significant step forward in sustainable practices,” says Amy Johns, interim director of the Zilkha Center.  We at the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives are looking forward to working with staff, faculty and students to develop more specific building standards to guide future construction and renovation projects.”

Henry Art, professor of biology and chair of CEAC notes, “I’m pleased to see the college’s commitment to sustainability formalized in this manner. Williams’ guidelines for sustainable campus development reflect the practical approach to environmental responsibility that we teach in our classrooms.”

For more information, contact Amy Johns, interim director, Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives ([email protected])