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Overview of LEED Buildings at Vassar

Vassar’s campus and many of its buildings are well over one hundred years old. In 2013, Vassar began construction on an ambitious project to modernize its scientific quadrangle and efforts were made to prioritize renovating our buildings in a manner that is both sustainable and that honors their historic heritage. Learn more below about the College’s involvement with the US Green Building Council’s LEED process and the efforts made to meet green building criteria for New England Building and Sanders Physics.

In the United States, buildings account for 38% of all CO2 emissions, 14% of potable water use, and 73% of electricity consumption (USGBC http://leed.usgbc.org/leed.html). Designing, constructing, and renovating buildings through LEED reduces these core metrics, inspires continual improvement in the building industry, and educates the community to some of the tangible solutions to climate change.

After complete gut renovations, both Sanders Physics and New England reopened in Fall 2014 as part of Vassar’s Integrated Science project which also included a renovation of Olmsted Hall, the construction of the ‘Bridge building,’ and the removal of Mudd Hall. All renovations are likely to qualify the buildings for LEED accreditation.

On considering the importance of historic preservation, Emily Omrod (VCAP intern, Class of 2016) writes, “these buildings have been a crucial component in Vassar’s history as a revolutionary in the education of women in science.  As the New Bridge Building takes its place as part of the Integrated Science Center, and Vassar moves forward with new technology, we honor the richness of 151 years of teaching and the preservation of these artifacts associated with that tradition.” With an appreciation of this history, and with these building summaries, the Office of Sustainability weaves a consideration of these heirlooms into the context of the environmental climate of our times.

New England Sanders Physics