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Green Buildings

Stanford designs, constructs, and operates high-performance campus buildings. Accolades for design and operation abound, including LEED Platinum certifications for both New Construction and Existing Building projects on campus.

Yang & Yamazaki Environment & Energy Building (2008)

The Jerry Yang & Akiko Yamazaki Environment + Energy Building (Y2E2), the first large-scale, mixed-use, high-performance building at Stanford houses cross-disciplinary teams and programs with teaching and research focused on sustainability. Y2E2 continues to serve as a learning tool for both building occupants and the campus community and recently earned a LEED-EBOM (Existing Building: Operations & Maintenance) Platinum certification, the highest rating awarded by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). As the first LEED-EBOM certification on campus, the Y2E2 project allowed Stanford to evaluate the benefits of the certification process and further investigate opportunities in design and operation of high-performance buildings.

The project earned 82 points, exceeding the 80 point threshold required for the Platinum rating. Highlights included earning all 15 points available in the alternative transportation credit, plus a bonus point due to its regional significance, earning 14 points in the energy efficiency credit demonstrating documented energy consumption 37 percent better than the national median of comparable buildings, and earning all 5 available points for the performance of indoor plumbing fixtures.

Significant sustainability features of the 166,000 square-foot building include:

  • A high-performance envelope (roof, walls, windows, sunshades and light shelves) to reduce heating and cooling loads.
  • Natural ventilation via internal atria, windows, and vents with efficient active beams for mechanical cooling when needed.
  • Three solar photovoltaic demonstration installations to offset energy use.
  • Water conservation systems, including waterless urinals and dual-flush toilets. Recycled water from Stanford’s Central Energy Facility is used in toilets, urinals, and for some lab processes.
  • Extensive use of recycled materials and sustainable products, such as bamboo. Exposed concrete floors significantly reduced carpet use and saved tons of raw materials.

Y2E2 links

Knight Management Center (2011)

The Knight Management Center (KMC), an eight-building, 360,000 square-foot complex for the Graduate School of Business, earned a LEED-NC Platinum® rating from the U.S. Green Building Council – the organization’s highest certification level. The project received 60 points, far above the 52-point threshold for Platinum. “ The design of the new facility underscores what is taught in many GSB electives, such as Environmental Entrepreneurship and Environmental Science for Managers and Policy Makers, as well as in core classes covering sustainability across business functions and the MBA/MS Environment and Resources joint degree program.

The building contains a variety of energy efficiency features, including:

  • Rooftop PV panels that generate 12.5 percent of KMC’s electricity needs;
  • Extensive use of natural daylight and automatic light sensors to reduce artificial lighting when not necessary;
  • Rainwater capture, storage, and reuse for onsite irrigation;
  • Chilled beams and night flushing provide efficient cooling;
  • Recycled content in 25 percent of building materials and more than 98 percent of waste from building construction diverted from landfill.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal named Knight Management Center Green Project of the Year in 2010.

Knight Management Center

William H. Neukom Building (2011)

A central theme of openness characterizes the Law School’s William H. Neukom Building. The 65,000-square-foot space features conference rooms, faculty offices, open areas for group work, and the Mills Legal Clinic within four three-story wings connected by dramatic glasswalled pedestrian bridges. Sustainability strategies such as maximized use of natural light, automated control systems, natural ventilation, ceiling fans, high-efficiency glazing, and trellis shading contribute to energy use projected to be 30 percent less than code. The building’s exterior features rainwater harvesting and native plant species. The Neukom Building, a LEED-NC Gold-equivalent project, exemplifies high-performance design and construction principles now common practice on campus.

Huang Engineering Center (2010)

The School of Engineering’s new Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center (HEC) follows the example of its predecessor, the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2), and epitomizes high-performance design and construction. Performance models suggest that aggregate energy use, including plug loads, will be 42 percent less than those of standard buildings. HEC features an enhanced building envelope with high-performance windows, makes extensive use of daylight and photocell technology, employs a combination of natural ventilation and active chilled beams, includes rapidly renewable materials in architectural woodwork and furniture, and uses the university’s recycled water system to flush toilets and urinals. A 30kW DC solar photovoltaic installation will meet some of the building’s electricity demand. To complete the HEC auditorium, 316 seats were salvaged from the demolition of Kresge Auditorium, refurbished, and redeployed.

Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (2010)

The Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (Nano) houses the Edward L. Ginzton independent laboratory as well as the offices of the Department of Applied Physics. Research activities in the Nano Center span a broad range of areas from photonics and quantum engineering to single-molecule biophysics. User facilities within the building feature some of the most advanced nanoscale patterning and characterization equipment available (complementing the nearby Stanford Nanocharacterization Lab and Stanford Nanofabrication Facility), largely in underground installations to provide the stringent control of vibration, light and cleanliness that is essential for nanoscale research

Performance models suggest aggregate energy use in Nano, including plug loads, remains 37 percent less than standard buildings. Like its predecessors in SEQ, Nano makes use of day-lighting and photocell technology, employs a combination of natural ventilation and active chilled beams, and uses the university’s recycled-water system to flush toilets and urinals. In addition, a 30kW DC solar photovoltaic installation will meet some of the building’s electricity demand.

Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building (2010)

The Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building (SIM1), a 200,000-GSF School of Medicine building, has a basement vivarium and three above-grade floors with research labs and support facilities. Stanford established targets comparable to a LEED-NC Silver rating for the project. Significant sustainability features include:

  • Segregated laboratory and other occupancy types to increase HVAC operating efficiency
  • Sloped ceilings in labs for increased daylighting and solar photo cells for lighting control
  • Reusable animal cages throughout the vivarium, eliminating cage wash equipment and avoiding the use of approximately 9 million gallons of water annually
  • Elimination of relative humidity controls from air-handling equipment and the vivarium rooms due to the local climate

Fully occupied in fall 2010, SIM1 became the nation’s largest center dedicated to stem cell research. An example of high-performance building in the face of highly technical programmatic requirements, SIM1 serves as a national model for laboratory design and construction.

SIM1 website

Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge (2010)

The Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge (LKSC), a 118,000-GSF School of Medicine building, includes medical simulation and virtual reality environments to advance teaching, learning, and knowledge management. Four above-grade floors house a conference center, classrooms, and study areas. The basement features the Center for Immersive and Simulation Based Learning.

Prominent sustainability features include:

  • Recycled water for flushing toilets and urinals
  • High-performance glazing, sun shades, and a reflective roofing surface
  • HVAC system with chilled beams and displacement ventilation
  • Diversion of 95 percent of construction and demolition debris from landfill

The Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge has already become a hub for education, training, conferences, and interdisciplinary programs for the School of Medicine.

Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge

Carnegie Institution's Global Ecology Research Center (2005)

The Carnegie Institution’s Global Ecology Research Center is an extremely low-energy laboratory and office building that emits 72 percent less carbon and uses 33 percent less water than a comparable standard building

The center features an evaporative downdraft cooling tower, an exterior made from salvaged wine-cask redwood, no-irrigation landscaping, dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets. The design also furthers academic work: a "night sky" radiant cooling system demonstrates the principles of radiant heat loss to deep space–principles that the center’s researchers are investigating.

The American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment named the Global Ecology Research Center one of its Top Ten Green Projects in 2007.

Global Ecology Research Center, Carnegie Institution

Leslie Shao-Ming Sun Field Station at Jasper Ridge (2005)

The Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve provides a natural laboratory for researchers and educational experiences for students. Sustainable elements include:

  • A 22-kilowatt, grid-connected photovoltaic system.
  • A sophisticated energy monitoring system.
  • Waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets and tankless water heaters.
  • Salvaged materials used for siding, brick paving, casework, furniture and bathroom partitions.

The American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment named Jasper Ridge Field Station one of its Top Ten Green Projects in 2005.

Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

Recognition & Awards

  • First Place, ASHRAE Technology Award, for the Environment and Energy Building (Y2E2) in the new institutional building category (2011)
  • Design Award of Excellence, for Stanford Law School, William H. Neukom Building, Society of American Registered Architects (2011)
  • Green Project of the Year, for the Graduate School of Business’ Knight Management Center, Silicon Valley Business Journal (2010)
  • Best Green Building in the Bay Area, for Y2E2, San Francisco Business Times (2008)
  • Top Ten Green Projects, for the Carnegie Institution’s Global Ecology Research Center, American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (2007)
  • Leadership in Applying Green Building Design, for Stanford Dining, PG&E (2006)
  • Top Ten Green Projects, for Jasper Ridge Field Station, American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (2005)
  • Energy & Sustainability Award, for Jasper Ridge Field Station, American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter (2005)