All 130+ buildings on the University of Chicago campus require electricity, heating, cooling, cleaning, and maintenance - and each of those activities results in greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, maintaining and operating campus buildings makes up the majority of our carbon footprint as a University.
To address these impacts, the University implemented significant sustainability requirements into our (FS)2 Building Standards, ensuring that sustainability is a top priority of all our campus buildings. As part of the University's new policies, new construction projects costing more than $5 million must be certified with at least LEED Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification system. LEED certification aims to improve building performance across a number of significant metrics, including energy and water efficiency, waste reduction, and indoor environmental quality.
The Sustainable Building Policy creates significant changes by maximizing both environmental and economic return on investment through design, construction, and maintenance standards. Together, these standards improve resource conservation and create healthy work and living spaces for the people who study, teach, or work in our buildings.