The University of Connecticut is committed to environmentally responsible management and growth, as stated in our official Environmental Policy Statement. The University recognizes the environmental, health and productivity benefits, as well as long-term cost savings, inherent in sustainable design and construction practices. For several years, UConn has been designing and constructing buildings with features that reduce utility costs by saving energy and conserving water.
UConn’s High Standards
UConn is one of only a handful of universities across the country to have articulated its vision for environmentally sustainable development by adopting its own Sustainable Design Guidelines. Developed in 2003-04 as a collaborative effort among staff, faculty and students serving on the University's Building & Grounds Committee, Master Plan Advisory Committee, and the EPAC Land Use & Sustainable Development Subcommittee, these guidelines will apply to construction projects throughout the next decade of the University's capital improvement program (21st Century UConn). Our Sustainable Design Guidelines contain not only technical considerations, but also a process that ensures integration of sustainable thinking into planning, design and project delivery.
Most recently, UConn's vision of green building involves the incorporation of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, or LEED, standards to select University capital improvement projects. The University has committed to pursue formal LEED certification for these projects, provided that it is not cost prohibitive. With this emphasis on technical and economic feasibility, UConn will carefully monitor and strive to contain any additional cost premiums associated with LEED certification, and will utilize life-cycle analysis to choose the most cost-effective strategies.
In 2016, the University formally adopted a new Sustainable Design and Construction Policy, which pledges that the University of Connecticut shall plan, design, construct, renovate and maintain sustainable, energy- and water-efficient buildings. All new construction projects will persue at least a LEED gold rating for projects estimated at greater than $5 million.
There are currently 23 buildings (2.2 million square feet) across all UConn campuses that are LEED Certified or Registered. With the new modification to the Sustainable Design and Construction Policy, the number of UConn LEED buildings is expected to increase significantly. Below are some of UConn's biggest LEED Certified projects:
Werth Tower: Werth Tower, formerly NextGen Hall, received LEED Silver Certification after construction was finished in 2016. It features a massive range of green features such as the green roof garden, solar heating panels, sunshades, light colored roofing, surrounding rain gardens, water bottle refill stations, advanced thermostats that can detect open windows, low flow water features, and more. The Residence Hall houses 8 different learning communities, each on their own floor, including EcoHouse, Engineering House, and Honors to Opportunities (H2O) House.
Oak and McHugh Hall: Oak and McHugh Hall both achieved LEED Gold certification, the highest LEED ranking at UConn. Read more about McHugh (formerly Laurel) Hall's LEED Gold certification here. Oak and McHugh were constructed as replacement buildings for Arjona and Monteith, housing courses and departments such as Economics, Linguistics, Modern and Classical Languages, and Journalism.
Both buildings have attained LEED Gold certification with green features such as window glazing, natural/adaptive and drought resistant plants, indoor air quality controls, low flow valves and faucets, extensive recycling of contruction waste (75% min.), use of rapidly renewable materials, green roof, use of regional materials, and bioretention swales
Henry Ruthven Monteith Hall: The major renovation completed in 2016 utilized a variety of green building strategies and materials to enhance the aesthetic value and environmental sensitivity of the space. Specific efforts included reducing the amount of construction waste sent to the landfill, selecting carpet and other interior finishes with high recycled content that emit fewer pollutants into the interior, which contributes to healthier indoor air quality and designing a ventilation strategy using mechanical and natural ventilation as well as installing LED lighting to significantly improve energy performance. By incorporating these green building measures, in addition to other sizable efforts, the project is expected to receive a LEED Silver rating.
Burton-Shenkman Football Complex: The Football Complex and Training Center was the first LEED certified building on the UConn campus.With its dual-flush toilets,lockers made from recycled-content, green-label carpet, and with 89% of construction waste being recycled, it is also the first LEED Silver certified athletic complex in the NCAA.
Other UConn LEED Projects include:
- Gentry Building Renovation (Certified - Silver)
- McMahon Dining Renovation/Addition (Certified - Gold)
- Torrey Life Sciences Lab Renovation (Certified - Silver)
- Storrs Hall Addition (Certified - Silver)
- Young Building Renovation (Certified - Silver)
- Bousfield Psychology Addition (Certified)
- Avery Point Student Center (Certified - Silver)
- Basketball Practice Facility (Certified - Silver)
- Hartford Campus Building (Registered - Pending Certification)
- Putnam Renovation (Registered - Pending Certification)
- Main Accumulation Area (Registered - Pending Certification)
- Innovative Partnership Building (Registered - Under Construction)
- Engineering Science Building (Registered - Under Construction)
- Fine Arts Addition (Registered - In Design)
- Gant Complex Renovation (Registered - In Design)
- Student Recreation Center (Registered - In Design)