Buildings

Sloan School
Photo: MIT Image Library
High-efficiency, low carbon buildings

At MIT, we are working to optimize every aspect of our built environment, creating more sustainable buildings that support our academic mission, are as architecturally distinct as they are high-performing, as comfortable as they are energy efficient, and as welcoming as they are state-of-the art. All new construction and major renovation projects at MIT must earn at least Gold Certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Rating System. When possible, MIT seeks to also exceed the requirements of LEED and to pursue other high performance design standards and industry best practices.

Integrating sustainability into campus buildings, taking action on climate

Ninety-seven percent of MIT’s greenhouse emissions are currently associated with the operation of campus building facilities. Recognizing this, we are working closely with the Department of Facilities and the MIT community to ensure that every capital project integrates sustainable strategies to reduce our carbon footprint. We seek to approach every project as a laboratory for testing performance, and advancing our knowledge of and techniques for sustainable building.

Strategies

Here are just a few of the building strategies we are working collaboratively to advance:

  • achieve LEED v4 Gold Certification for all new construction and major renovation projects on campus

  • meet the energy efficiency goals outlined in the Stretch Energy Code set forth by the City of Cambridge

  • engage in an integrated design process to benefit from the expertise of diverse stakeholders

  • optimize every aspect of every project to improve performance and find productive intersections

  • learn from each project, apply those lessons to future work, and share what we’ve learned with the campus and the wider world

  • create greener labs that optimize energy and water use, reduce waste, and minimize hazardous materials where possible

MITOS Focus Areas

MITOS is currently working collaboratively to transform the sustainability of buildings on campus via operations, education, research, and innovation in the following areas.

Koch
Sustainable Design and Construction

MIT’s buildings support the Institute’s academic mission and demonstrate how MIT is transforming to meet future challenges. The Institute is committed to playing a leadership role in addressing the complex global issue of climate change, beginning with a careful examination of the impact of our own built environment.

Labs
Green Labs

Laboratory spaces are critical to MIT’s research mission, but they are the most resource-intensive spaces on our campus. The MIT Green Labs program encourages lab groups to propose innovative solutions to reduce energy consumption, water use, waste production and chemical use in labs.

Solar Panels
On-Site Renewables

MIT has a number of small-scale, on-site renewal energy systems on its campus. These systems provide locally generated electricity and also offer opportunities for research and academic initiatives.

Sustainable Buildings Map
Sustainable Buildings Map

Interactive map of buildings on MIT campus that have achieved LEED Gold Certification, LEED Silver Certification, or have sustainable design features.

Sustainability Connect
Photo: Ken Richardson
Recommendations from the MIT Sustainability Working Group

In November 2015, the MIT Office of Sustainability released the first set of recommendations, generated by the 2014-2015 Sustainability Working Groups, which address the following topics: building design and construction; stormwater and land management; materials management; and green labs.

Additional MIT Initiatives

MITOS is part of a community of departments, labs, and centers working toward elements of a sustainable campus. Featured below are initiatives from some of our partners.

MIT Sustainable Design Lab
MIT Sustainable Design Lab

An inter-disciplinary research group with a grounding in architecture that develops design workflows, planning tools and metrics to evaluate the performance of buildings and neighborhoods.

SENSEable City Lab
SENSEable City Lab

The SENSEable City Laboratory's research focuses on studying and predicting how digital technology is changing the way we describe, design, and occupy cities.

Concrete Sustainability Hub
Concrete Sustainability Hub

The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub, CSHub, is a dedicated interdisciplinary team of researchers from several departments across MIT working on concrete and infrastructure science, engineering, and economics since 2009. 

Built Environment & Infrastructure - MITEI
Built Environment & Infrastructure - MITEI

Research focused on sustainable design, energy efficiency, and material development for the built environment and large-scale infrastructure.

Load more
Key Buildings Partners

MIT seeks to provide state-of-the-art amenities for its faculty, staff and students. The Department of Facilities is a leader in fulfilling that objective by providing the development and construction for sustainable buildings. 

EHS helps lead the way on designing laboratory spaces that are energy efficient and more sustainable; as well as leading efforts to engage building occupants to find more sustainable solutions. 

Office of Campus Planning promotes planning and design excellence for MIT’s campus within its local and regional context. They undertake a range of planning and design coordination projects, from strategic planning and building feasibility studies to designer selection, ADA coordination, and capital project permits.

 

Photovoltaic Research Laboratory student research has helped assess the opportunities for building-mounted solar PV across campus and provided strategies for prioritizing potential sites.

Managing MIT's commercial real-estate building portfolio, MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo) plays a critical role in shaping MIT's built environment and has embedded sustainable design in their new construction and major renovation projects.