Through ongoing collaboration between student, staff, and faculty driven green teams, the Harvard Graduate School of Design is working to create a sustainable campus for the future. The GSD Green Team, founded in 2009, is comprised of GSD staff who are dedicated to finding innovative solutions, challenging norms, and encouraging behavior change. The GSD Green Team is open to all members of the GSD community. 

To me, it’s all about collaboration. It’s about getting the occupants of the buildings involved in sustainability...It’s about getting people to be part of the change.

-Kevin Cahill, GSD Facilities Manager


Green Initiative Highlights

  • In 2009, Dyson hand dryers were installed in Gund Hall bathrooms. Using Dyson hand dryers creates a 95% cost saving vs. using paper towels. They also use 80% less energy than conventional hand dryers.
  • The GSD has switched from bottled water bubblers to filtered water, eliminating water bottle truck deliveries and plastic bottles.
  • Over 150 ft. of bike racks are installed outside of Gund Hall promoting a sustainable, and healthy mode of transportation for members of the GSD community.
  • The 40 year old HVAC cooling and heating units within Gund Hall are being updated and replaced.
  • All bathrooms are now equipped with lighting sensors.
  • Roughly 40% of the Gund Hall roof has been converted to a Green Roof. Read more

Waste reduction

The Graduate School of Design, on average, recycles 65% of it's waste stream, including woodscraps from the Woodshop. Single stream recycling is implemented across the School. Check for the Green Zone maps throughout Gund Hall to find the nearest receptacle for reuse, composting, e-waste, and recycling. 

  • Cafeteria: Chauhaus, Gund Hall's cafeteria, was the first restaurant on campus to incorporate composting. Please compost all food waste, biodegradeable Chauhaus tableware, utensils, cups and lids, stirrers, and plates, and napkins and paper towels. Chauhaus also has a reusable mug program. Bring your mug to help the GSD reduce waste and receive discounts on coffee. 
  • Fabrication Labs: The woodshop has recycling for wood, plastic, paper, and even Styrofoam!
  • Events: Any event held on campus, including Commencement, is zero waste, using only 100% compostable products, and utilizing compost and recycling bins instead of trash cans.
  • Freecycle: The GSD Freecycle program encourages reuse through the donation of goods within the GSD community. Take an item. Leave an item. Find the wire racks for donations by the elevator in the basement and in the studio areas.  

Student Environmental Groups and Resources

GSD Green Design is a platform for the GSD community to critically engage discourse of environmental sustainability in the built environment. GSD Green Design sponsors events, supports individual and group student projects related to sustainability, and maintains an ongoing relationship with the facilities and staff-led GSD Green Team to support GSD’s commitment to energy and waste reduction. Additionally, GSD Green Design collaborates with student-led groups at other Harvard Schools and seeks relationships with Boston area institutions.

GSD Bees is a subdivision of Green Design, interested in urban beekeeping. Funded in 2011 by a Student Grant, the GSD hive sits on the roof of Gund Hall and contributes to a network of campus bees that help pollinate the many community gardens. Read more

Student Sustainability Grant Program support student efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainability on campus. These on-campus projects result directly in reduced environmental impacts associated with student life at Harvard.

Academic Programs

Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure

Risk and Resilience

Energy and Environments