file under: Facilities, Education, North America, United States, Green Design, Sustainability

Beyond Bricks and Mortar

Sustainable Utility Design for Harvard University

Guided by a set of university-wide sustainability principles, Harvard University’s 200-plus acre Allston campus development is a model of environmental stewardship. New buildings will incorporate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) features; renewable or clean energy sources will help power the campus; stormwater strategies will focus on pedestrian-friendly environments; services will protect, treat and replenish groundwater; and streetscape transportation initiatives will reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

The campus-wide green utility delivery system for Harvard University’s Allston campus development will serve as a model of sustainable design for other institutions and communities. 

To support the project, we are designing a green campus-wide utility delivery system that will provide for all thermal, electrical and wet utilities, including steam, natural gas, heating and chilled water, electricity, stormwater, water and sewer, and telecommunications. A critical component is a network of distributed energy facilities. The campus’ first 9-megawatt cogeneration plant, a technology that generates fewer greenhouse gases and a smaller carbon footprint, will include LEED® features and provide electricity and high-pressure steam for medical research.

Other sustainable campus design components under evaluation include a stormwater plan that maximizes retention, reuse and groundwater recharge through natural landscaping; heat recovery systems; and thermal storage strategies that will chill and store water in the evening to minimize peak-demand operations. This utility master plan will intertwine with every part of Harvard’s Allston campus master plan and provide effective and efficient delivery of utility services—serving as a successful model of sustainable design for other institutions and communities.

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