Building, maintaining, and operating campus buildings accounts for a majority of Wesleyan's carbon emissions, mostly through energy consumption.  To reduce this carbon footprint, 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 and released the Building Sustainability Policy in 2017, which outlines requirements and ideas for integrating sustainability into building projects in the areas of energy, materials, and water use.  Wesleyan strives to maintain its existing buildings through the Major Maintenance program.  

The initiatives below show what we plan to do via our 2016-2021 Sustainability Action Plan (SAP) and what we have already accomplished. See pages 27-28 in the SAP for more details.

What We're Working On

  • Construction, Renovation, Infrastructure
    1. Develop a “cheat sheet” for project managers to evaluate projects - LCCA (life cycle cost analysis) form developed 2019; project managers received training
    2. Incorporate further prioritization related to fire/life safety, energy, and infrastructure in the Major Maintenance process - ongoing
    3. Develop a building education program - will launch upon completion of Film Phase 3 in Summer 2020
    4. Develop an automated evaluation process for constituents upon completion of project work - in progress

What We've Done

  • Construction and Renovation
    1. In 2017, Wesleyan completed a Building Sustainability Policy, which outlines requirements and ideas for integrating sustainability into building projects in the areas of energy, materials and furnishings, and water use.  A focus of this plan is addressing Wesleyan's carbon footprint through projects large and small.
    2. In 2007, Wesleyan committed to building all new construction over $5 million and major renovations over $2 million to LEED Silver standard or equivalent.  
      • Bennet Hall and Fauver Apartments are LEED Silver certified (2005)
      • Usdan University Center is 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 Phase 3 is projected to be 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.
  • 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.  Major Maintenance projects use sustainable materials, including FSC-certified wood, low- or no-VOC paints and finishes, post-consumer content carpet squares, PVC-free flooring, water aerators, and denim batting or cellulose blown-in insulation.  
    2. All construction and demolition (C&D) debris is required to be separated for reuse or recycling.  83% of C&D waste was reused or recycled in FY 2019, up from 68% in FY 2012.
    3. Wesleyan annually installs and upgrades fire alarms and sprinkler systems to improve student safety.
    4. All new buildings constructed since 2005 have indoor air quality systems, and a member of the Utilities Management team monitors building air flow and air quality constantly.  Wesleyan conducts air quality audits when there is a complaint through the work order system and has an on-call consultant who advises on indoor air quality issues beyond the scope of the Environmental Services team. 
  • Other Accomplishments
    1. In buildings, 99% of new mechanical equipment is 95% efficient.  Only Energy Star appliances are purchased.
    2. Wesleyan has sold over 58 former student and employee woodframe houses to reduce its footprint.

Buildings Contact

Roseann Sillasen, Project Manager, Facilities
(860) 685-3476