The newest Executive Education building at the Harvard Business School (HBS), Tata Hall, was designed to help remarkable leaders make a difference in the world. In line with Harvard’s university-wide commitment to sustainability, it was also constructed with state-of-the-art sustainability measures to ensure that the building itself will make a difference in the world.

Energy efficient technology and other green measures are expected to cut energy and water consumption by nearly 50 percent, and will ensure the building is a healthy and sustainable learning, living and working environment for the leaders that will visit HBS from across the globe.

The seven story glass and stone building was dedicated on December 9, 2013 and named in honor of Ratan Tata, who served as chairman of Tata Sons Ltd. from 1991 until his retirement at the end of 2012. The building was funded through generous gifts from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Tata Education and Development Trust. It was designed and built to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the highest ranking possible from the US Green Building Council.

"Harvard University’s Greenhouse Goal was at the forefront of the Tata Hall goal-making process.  Of all the sustainability objectives, the project's energy goal was by far the most analyzed, debated and discussed item for the design team," said Meghan Duggan, Assistant Director, Sustainability and Energy Management at HBS. "Tata not only exceeds the national ASHRAE building energy standard by 50 percent but it emits 47 percent fewer greenhouse gases than the average ASHRAE building," 

One of the most visible examples of Tata Hall’s sustainability features is an 71kW rooftop photovoltaic installation. 320 AC modules will generate AC power directly from each solar panel for use in the building. The project is one of eight solar installations on Harvard’s campus, including three others in Allston (two at HBS and one at Athletics), that produce over 1MW of electricity.

It's not sustainability at all cost, it's sustainability in harmony with all other project goals including items such as occupant experience, comfort, as well as cost and aesthetics.

Energy efficiency measures were established throughout Tata Hall. One of the most striking is the 37-foot-tall double-skin glass wall. The wall uses two vented glass layers set 36 inches apart to act as a thermal blanket in colder temperatures, creating a cooling convection throughout the summer months, and flooding the building’s interior with abundant daylight all year long. In addition, window sensors shut HVAC units off when windows are opened by occupants and occupancy and CO2 sensors provide additional controls to reduce energy use when rooms are not in use.

Indoor environmental quality was also a significant area of focus. Low toxic materials were used and technology was used to address the lighting and thermal comfort of the indoor space. Outside the building, porous pavement and the use of native and adaptive vegetation is used throughout the site to reduce stormwater run-off and contribute to stormwater collection, filtration and infiltration.

"It's not sustainability at all cost, it's sustainability in harmony with all other project goals including items such as occupant experience, comfort, as well as cost and aesthetics," explained Duggan.

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