Buildings & Grounds

Building, maintaining, and operating campus buildings accounts for a majority of Wesleyan's carbon emissions, mostly through energy consumption.  Wesleyan has committed to meet or exceed the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold standard or equivalent for new construction and major renovations.  The Building Sustainability Policy outlines additional requirements for integrating sustainability into building projects.  Wesleyan maintains its existing buildings through the Major Maintenance program and annual Comprehensive Energy program.  

Wesleyan strives to maintain its lawns, fields, trees, and natural areas following sustainable practices. Wesleyan's Grounds Sustainability Policy details the practices that we have committed to regarding campus grounds maintenance.  

What We've Done

  • Building Construction and Renovation
    1. In 2017, Wesleyan completed a Building Sustainability Policy, which outlines requirements and ideas for integrating sustainability into building projects.  A focus of this plan is addressing Wesleyan's carbon footprint.
    2. In 2019, Wesleyan committed to building all new construction and major renovations over $2 million to LEED Gold standard.  
      • Bennet Hall and Fauver Apartments (LEED Silver certified 2005)
      • Usdan University Center (built to LEED Silver standards 2007)
      • Allbritton Center is (LEED Gold certified 2009)
      • Boger Hall is (LEED Platinum certified 2013)
      • The Center for Film Studies (LEED Gold certified 2020)
    3. In 2005, Wesleyan began to replace student woodframe houses with energy-efficient prototypes.  All of the prototype houses can house more students than the typical woodframe house to maximize efficiency.
      • 25 Fountain Avenue and 14 Warren Avenue share a geothermal well system for heating and cooling. 
      • 19 Fountain Avenue is Energy Star rated and has rooftop solar PV panels for electricity.
      • 231 Pine Street is Energy Star rated.
      • 20 Fountain Avenue is built to have a tight envelope and be extremely energy efficient.
    4. Many flat roofs on campus have been replaced with white roofing materials.  Light-colored asphalt roofing materials have been installed during all woodframe roof replacements.
    5. Boger Hall and Center for Film Studies house green roofs.
  • Infrastructure Improvements
    1. The Major Maintenance program upgrades and maintains buildings, including building envelope and energy conservation projects, window replacements and restorations, weather-stripping, and installation of programmable thermostats.  
    2. All construction and demolition (C&D) debris is required to be separated for reuse or recycling.  31.5% of C&D waste was reused or recycled in FY 2022.
    3. All buildings constructed since 2005 have indoor air quality systems, and building air flow and air quality are monitored constantly.  
    4. In buildings, mechanical equipment is 95% efficient.  Only Energy Star appliances are purchased.
    5. Wesleyan has sold many former student and employee woodframe houses to reduce its footprint.
    6. In 2011, Wesleyan replaced high flow toilets, flush valves, faucets, and showerheads with low-flow models, reducing consumption by over 13 million gallons annually, over 50 percent of total water consumption.  
  • Grounds Maintenance Practices
    1. Over the past decade, Wesleyan has drastically reduced its use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers and follows an integrated pest management protocol in its grounds practices. 
    2. Wesleyan maintains 89 acres of areas that are no-mow, mowed only annually, or left wooded.  
    3. Wesleyan prioritizes the use of native plants in in-ground plantings and avoids planting any invasive species.  There are extensive native plantings at Allbritton, on the former McConaughy Hall site, and at Long Lane.
    4. Mowing heights are raised in all non-athletic fields in spring and summer to decrease mowing frequency and fuel expenditure.
    5. Wesleyan composts or mulches most of its landscape waste, either on-campus (80%) or at the Middletown Transfer Station (20%).  We do not use our own woodchips around trees because of insect and disease concerns.  All elms are sent to the landfill to prevent the spread of Dutch Elm Disease.  All stump grindings are used as compost amendments.
    6. Wesleyan operates a plant dump on the Long Lane property for discarded annuals, which are either collected for replanting or composted. 
    7. Grounds crews' mowers leave grass clippings on the fields and lawn areas for moisture retention. 
    8. Any trees removed on campus are chipped and used in compost.
    9. Rain sensors on the irrigation system for Usdan University Center prevent irrigation at inappropriate times.  In Summer 2018 Grounds expanded its weather-sensitive irrigation monitors to most irrigated areas on campus. 
    10. For snow and ice removal, Wesleyan has moved away from using sand and instead uses Magic Salt, which is less corrosive than traditional rock salt.  The Grounds Department continues to investigate less corrosive options.
    11. Piped water access was installed at Long Lane Farm in 2017 to make water more available to farmers in winter, and to reduce overall water usage. 
  • Outdoor Educational and Gathering Spaces
    1. Green roofs are on the Center for Film Studies, Boger Hall, Allbritton Center.
    2. The student group Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan (WILD Wes) has two permaculture garden locations: a terraced garden and stairs at Summerfields, and a larger garden in the West College courtyard. WILD Wes maintains both sites to remove invasive species and adjust plantings as needed.  
    3. To increase social spaces, outdoor seating was installed to the east elevation of West College Courtyard and south side of Weshop, including several solar picnic tables, paid in part by the Wesleyan Green Fund.
    4. Additional outdoor social seating spaces are installed annually across campus.
    5. A pilot stone paver patio at the Center for Humanities, reduces stormwater runoff.

Lawn, Field, and Tree Care

Wesleyan has reduced chemical weed control on all campus grounds for crabgrass and grub control. In an effort to continue to minimize pesticide use, the campus is divided into 3 separate categories.  These areas include; No Treatment, Synthetic Treatment, and the Athletic Field areas.  All areas are maintained by Stonehedge Landscaping. Wesleyan's Grounds Sustainability Policy has more detailed information on the practices that we have committed to regarding campus grounds maintenance.  

No Treatment Areas

All of campus excluding athletic fields

  • No pre or post-emergent herbicides for crabgrass or other weeds
  • No insecticides for grub control

Athletic Field Areas

All athletic fields, excluding the Rugby field

  • The IPM program for athletic fields is continually changing based on environmental pressures
  • Wesleyan maintains fields most strictly for player safety and field playability, with a high priority placed on field appearance
  • Dimension is applied in granular form in the early spring as a crabgrass preventative
  • Other fungicides, herbicides and grub control are used on an as needed basis (may be granular or liquid)


  • Grounds posts a sign on the tree signifying that the tree is scheduled to be removed.  This usually includes an approximate date for removal. 
  • Grounds plants at least two trees for every tree removed. 
  • A draft planting map is created every round of plantings (usually Fall and Spring).


Joe Banks, Project Manager, Facilities

Victor Diaz, Grounds Manager