Environmentally Responsible Building Principles

July 15, 2005

Green building design has both an environmental and economic sustainability component. The College is committed to environmental stewardship including construction of green buildings; however, design choices must be made in light of the ability of the College to finance the project. The following Environmentally Responsible Building Principles serve as a guide in decision making during building siting, design, construction, and operation. MHC Environmentally Responsible Performance Guidelines detail siting, design and construction requirements to meet these Principles.

  1. Site and design the building to minimize long-term environmental impact and operate the building to maximize the benefit of the environmental design elements.
  2. Design and construct the building to minimize the impact on the natural environment of the site and the campus.
  3. Optimize use of passive energy strategies to make the most of natural lighting, heating, cooling and shading to complement mechanical systems.
  4. Design mechanical lighting, heating and cooling systems to minimize energy use and emission of greenhouse gases.
  5. Create a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.
  6. Minimize potable water use by mechanical systems, building occupants, and for exterior landscaping.
  7. Minimize and control water runoff from the site to prevent degradation of Stony Brook and Upper and Lower Lakes.
  8. Use building materials that minimize the life cycle environmental impact of those materials.
  9. Minimize waste generation during the construction process and maximize reuse and recycling.

The following principles apply to the design process.

  1. Introduce environmental responsibility early in the planning process.
  2. Hire architects, engineers, and construction managers with experience in environmental design and construction and work collaboratively to achieve project goals.
  3. Use life cycle costing to evaluate building cost.
  4. Use building commissioning to evaluate systems and ensure performance standards are met.