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Tufts Energy-Efficient Construction

In the United States buildings (commercial and residential) account for:

36% of total Energy Use
65% of Electricity Consumption

30% of GHG-Emissions

30% of raw Materials Use
30% of Waste Output (136 mil. tons/y)

12% of potable Water Consumption
(Source: USGBC)

The Office of Sustainability works closely with Tufts Operations at planning and implementing energy-efficient strategies in its existing and new buildings.

New Construction
It is important to keep in mind that even the most energy-efficient building will add emissions to the campus. New construction can therefore not reduce total emissions. Nevertheless, new buildings offer a great opportunity to ‘do it right’ the first time. At Tufts we try to be involved early on in the design process of new buildings to ensure smart whole-building-design.

Lern more about new construction at Tufts:
Sophia Gordon Hall (Medford Campus, Residence Hall, completed Fall 2006)
Tufts Wildlife Clinic (Grafton Campus, completed 1998)

Improving Efficiency In Existing Buildings
Because Tufts’ goal is to reduce its total emissions (as supposed to its emissions per student or per square-foot) it is of special importance to focus on improving efficiency in existing buildings. Improving energy-efficiency in existing buildings is one of The Office of Sustainability’s highest priorities.

There is a vast array of energy-upgrades that can make an existing building more energy-efficiency. Some of the simpler changes involve lighting and lighting controls and high-efficiency equipment, such as air-conditioners and boilers. Yet, many building upgrades are more complicated than simple technology upgrades and require an in-depth knowledge of the building and of systems design.

At the Office of Sustainability, we also try to bundle projects. Combining energy upgrades with a longer payback with ones that are less expensive can enable the university to make more comprehensive upgrades. Learn more about efficiency upgrades in existing buildings at Tufts:

EPA Green Lights Program (university-wide replacement of lights)
Fume Hoods (energy-efficiency in laboratories)
Lighting Upgrades & Motion Sensors (university-wide implementation of high efficiency lighting and motion sensors 2003)
Schmalz House (energy-efficiency remodeling with solar water heater, 1999)
Steam Traps (efficiency gains in steam lines, 2006)