Boston University, MA Green Construction

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Boston University, MA, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


Boston University incorporates many sustainable practices into its major construction projects. As an example, the University is just beginning Student Housing -- Phase II, a second high-rise student residence building on the John Hancock Student Village site. This facility will provide an on-campus home for 960 students, with two lounge floors, office space, computer labs, laundry facilities and a large activities room, all in a two-tower configuration. The building, on the north side of Agganis Arena, will provide magnificent views of Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge.

The following are some aspects of that project that contribute to sustainability:

Sustainable Building Site

  • The project is in a dense, urban environment with existing infrastructure (heating plant, etc.) limiting urban sprawl and protecting existing greenfields
  • Mass transit system is easily accessible
  • Bicycle storage and on-site shower facilities for cyclists
  • Absence of additional on-site parking encourages use of mass transit
  • The project has not increased the rate or quantity of stormwater runoff to the watershed
  • Highly reflective roofing materials reduce heat-island effect

Innovation and Design

  • Transparent double-glazed low-E coated glass to reduce heat and cooling loss

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Natural daylight in 90% of indoor spaces
  • No-smoking policy throughout
  • CO2 -- demand control ventilation

Materials and Resources

  • Dedicated area for storage and collection of recyclable materials

Energy and Atmosphere

  • Occupancy sensors for lighting controls
  • Occupancy sensors for suite fan coil units
  • Fully automated systems optimize building energy consumption
  • Ventilation system uses filtered, unconditioned outside air for cooling during the late fall, winter, and early spring
  • Heat pipe energy recovery coil transfers heating and cooling energy from exhausted air to fresh air supply
  • Refrigeration and fire-suppression systems free of ozone-depleting chemicals
  • Indirect evaporative cooler for sensible heat recovery in cooling season
  • Variable frequency drives installed on hot water pumps and secondary chilled water pumps
  • Oversized cooling tower to reduce motor horse power required
  • Electronically communicated motors installed with fan coil units for increased efficiency

Water Efficiency

  • Low flow fixtures reduce potable water usages