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Tufts University receives recognition for its sustainability initiatives and achievements across all departments and disciplines. By using our campus as a living lab, Tufts has established itself as a leader in campus sustainability research and practice. Read below to see our recent awards.

American Institute of Architects COTE Top Ten Award - April 2022

The Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) on the Medford campus was recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment as a recipient of a 2022 COTE Top Ten Award, the industry’s best-known award program for sustainable design excellence. Each year, 10 innovative projects are recognized by the AIA for their integration of design excellence with environmental performance. The SEC was honored for it's innovative teaching and research space that supports cross-departmental collaborations in an environmentally responsible manner.

A member of the decision committee commented, "Designers collaborated with the clients to save the existing building, create a new building adaptive reuse and new. The dialogue between new and existing buildings are richer by their adjacency. One of multiple examples of where existing buildings have been transformed with the same level of energy performance of new buildings showing that you do not have to knock things down to make them better." Read more about the committee's decision-making.

Casella Sustainability Leadership Award - April 2022

Tufts University was honored for their leadership in sustainability at the second annual Casella Sustainability Leadership Award Ceremony. This award represents a commitment to creating a better tomorrow and showcases the grit, drive, and determination that has led award recipients down their own individual sustainability paths. Tufts, along with six other winners, were selected out of dozens of qualifying nominations including municipalities, colleges and universities, community organizations, industrial manufacturers, food and beverage producers, and more.

“It gives us a great sense of pride to honor Tufts for their innovative work in prioritizing sustainable practices today, tomorrow, and well into the future,” said John W. Casella, Chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems, Inc. “Their work inspires us every day and we hope that by shining the spotlight on them that others will be driven to improve the sustainability of their operations.”

Tufts University was recognized for its campus-wide sustainability priorities over the past few years, establishing itself as an innovative leader for higher education institutions. These initiatives include specialty recycling for film, foam, and textiles, move-out donation days, and the Tufts Eco-Rep Program in which over a dozen students support sustainability in the residence halls.

Boston Society for Architecture Sustainable Design Award - December 2021

Tufts’ Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) received the Honor Award for the Boston Society for Architecture’s 2021 Sustainable Design Awards, recognizing the SEC as an “outstanding achievement” that “demonstrates the systematic integration of sustainability.”

The building uses 70% less energy than a typical lab building, which are usually energy hogs compared to other types of buildings, and is certified LEED gold. Instead of demolishing existing buildings and starting new, the project built upon Robinson Hall and Bromfield-Pearson to join them together. This reduced carbon emissions during the building process and reused a large amount of building material. The Boston Society for Architecture cited this in their comments saying, “By saving an existing historic building and renovating another building (that was originally not included in the initial client brief), the existing building likely gained another 50 years of usefulness.”

Read more about the SEC's sustainable features.

Excellence in Construction Eagle Award

Joyce Cummings Center received the Excellence in Construction Eagle Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a national construction-industry trade association, at their annual convention in 2023.

PROCON, the firm responsible for the construction of Joyce Cummings Center started in 2019 and completed the project in 2021. The building’s “unique and sustainable design and pre-construction planning strategies” employed by PROCON contributed to its recognition. Furthermore, the project's success was noted despite the challenges of concurrent construction with the expansion of the MBTA Green Line, requiring significant logistical planning. This project was made possible through the generous support of Bill and Joyce Cummings, trustees emeritus and donors to Tufts University.

Read more about the JCC’s National Recognition