In 2008, Harvard set a short-term goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2016, from a 2006 baseline, inclusive of campus growth. Students, staff, and faculty across the University's Schools and departments embraced the challenge of meeting our aggressive goal.  

Facilities teams and building managers took advantage of tools and resources to install more than 1,600 energy conservation measures across campus. Take a tour of just some of their remarkable achievements. 

Arnold Arboretum

A COOLER WAY TO HEAT

The LEED Gold Weld Hill Research Building at the Arnold Arboretum utilizes a closed-loop heating and cooling system employing 88 geothermal wells. It eliminates all natural gas usage for heating and provides a 70% reduction in electrical consumption for cooling.

POWERED BY THE SUN

In 2016, the Arnold Arboretum installed solar arrays on two buildings (Hunnewell Building Maintenance Garage and the Dana Greenhouses), which contribute to a 30% reduction in electrical consumption.

 

Harvard Art Museums

THE ART OF SUSTAINABILITY

Approximately 2,000 energy-efficient LEDs illuminate the collection in the LEED Gold certified Harvard Art Museums, and 400 retractable shades allow natural light to flood the renovated courtyard. 
 

A MODERN MUSEUM

An innovative water-recovery system at the Harvard Art Museums collects rainwater and diverts it to a 10,000-gallon underground cistern. The reclaimed water is used for irrigation, gray water in toilets, and to recharge the underground water table.

 

Harvard Athletics

RUNNING ON SOLAR

Harvard Athletic’s Gordon Indoor Track and Tennis building is home to the University’s largest solar installation, housing 2,275 panels on 1.5 acres of roof, producing enough energy to power 100 homes each year. 

 

Harvard Business School

ENERGY EFFICIENCY FIRST

Harvard Business School completed over 150 energy conservation measures, reducing emissions 49%. This included improving the efficiency of the Chilled Water Plant, which reduced campus electricity consumption by 10%.
 

POWERED BY THE SUN

HBS has 12 LEED buildings and has installed 6 solar PV systems, generating 419,000 kWh, producing enough energy to power 44 homes each year. Read more about Harvard's Greenest Roof

 

Campus Services

Improvements to Harvard's Blackstone Steam Plant and campus utilities reduced emissions by 20,500 Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide, equivalent to taking more than 4,300 cars off the road.

 

Harvard Graduate School of Design

EFFICIENT BY DESIGN

The Graduate School of Design reduced energy and emissions over the course of 20 capital and operating projects with new mechanical systems, improved roofing insulation, and energy efficient lighting systems.

 

Harvard Divinity School

ENERGY EFFICIENCY FIRST

Since 2006, the Divinity School has reduced emissions 37%, largely by making buildings more energy efficient. For example, improvements to mechanical systems at Andover-Harvard Theological Library reduced the building’s energy use 35%.
 

FINDING THE LIGHT

73 solar panels sit atop the Divnity School’s Center for the Study of World Religions, producing 20,000 kWh annually. 

 

Harvard Graduate School of Education

LEED-ING BY EXAMPLE

In 2007, the Graduate School of Education certified the first LEED Platinum classroom in the world. Today, HGSE has a total of 5 LEED projects, 4 of which are Platinum.
 

A LESSON IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Despite significant expansion in space utilization and square footage, the Graduate School of Education reduced its emissions 31% since 2006, the equivalent of the emissions produced annually by every building on the HGSE campus except Gutman Library.

 

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

LEED-ING BY EXAMPLE

Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ 9 LEED spaces, including energy-intensive labs, are helping the University reduce emissions and save energy.

 

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

FRESH AIR, WITH SAVINGS

Thanks to an innovative retrofit of their own design, the building managers in Northwest Labs were able to reduce the number of air changes per hour while increasing the safety of the ventilation, resulting in over $900,000 and 950 MTCDE of annual savings.
 

GOOD BEHAVIOR

Behavior change campaigns are engaging staff and students in saving energy across FAS. Shut The Sash, which encourages efficient fume hood management in labs, saves over $200,000 annually in energy costs.


ENERGY EFFICIENCY FIRST

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences completed over 500 energy conservation measures, saving over $11.8 million and reducing annual emissions by 11,320 MTCDE, through retrofitting buildings with new technologies.

 

Harvard Forest

WARMTH FROM THE WOODS

In 2006, 50% of Harvard Forest’s campus heat came from burning oil. Following the installation of an efficient wood biomass system in 2013, 87% of heat now comes from the Forest’s trees, processed into cordwood on-site.
 

POWERED BY THE SUN

On average, 7% of the electricity needed to run Harvard Forest’s energy-intensive experiments is offset by the Prospect Hill solar array.

 

Harvard University Housing

24/7 EFFICIENCY

Since 2008, Harvard University Housing has completed over 200 energy conservation measures, including major improvements to building envelopes, lighting systems, and HVAC, all while accommodating for occupancy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

 

Harvard Kennedy School

ENERGY STEWARDSHIP

Since 2006, the Kennedy School has reduced emissions 33% thanks to broad energy efficient projects, ranging from chilled water plant and building automation upgrades, server room consolidations, and lighting improvements. 
 

LEED-ING BY EXAMPLE

Harvard Kennedy School’s LEED certified projects are helping the University reduce emissions and save energy.

 

Harvard Law School

POWERED BY THE SUN

312 solar panels sit atop Harvard Law School’s LEED Gold Wasserstein Hall, Caspersen Student Center, Clinical Wing building, producing enough energy annually to power Dane Hall. 


LEED-ING BY EXAMPLE

Harvard Law School’s 7 LEED certified projects are helping the University reduce emissions and save energy.

 

Harvard Library

BRIGHT IDEAS

Harvard Library installed over 10,000 LED bulbs, which light more than 3.5 million books, saving 494,000 kilowatt hours annually, or enough electricity to power 31 homes.

 

Harvard Medical School

FRESH AIR, WITH SAVINGS

Reducing air change rates throughout Harvard Medical School’s campus lowered energy use while maintaining required minimum indoor ventilation rates.


ENERGY EFFICIENCY FIRST

Occupancy based controls for lighting and HVAC zones in Harvard Medical School buildings reduced energy use by 6%, and allowed for lower temperatures at least 40% of the time.


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

ENERGY EFFICIENCY FIRST

Broad upgrades to the building automation systems in Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s four largest buildings, including new occupancy sensors for lighting and improvements to ventilation controls, are reducing emissions and saving energy costs. 
 

FRESH AIR, WITH SAVINGS

Following an extensive energy audit, the Chan School instituted a demand-controlled ventilation system for labs in the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Building. Aircuity systems keep ventilation at safe and adjustable lower levels, saving energy and costs.

 

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

ENERGY EFFICIENCY FIRST

A state-of-the-art air handling unit installed in Schlesinger Library takes advantage of innovations like free cooling to efficiently protect the collections in the Archival Vault from humidity, while saving energy and emissions.


A COOLER WAY TO HEAT

Radcliffe installed 7 geothermal standing well columns 1500 feet underground, which operates with an efficient heat pump system using the natural temperature of the earth to produce heating and cooling.