UMass Amherst Green Building Guidelines

Katrina M. Spade, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Lawson R. Wulsin Jr, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

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In 2007, University of Massachusetts President Jack Wilson signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The same year, University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMA) Chancellor Thomas Cole established the Environmental Performance Advisory Committee (EPAC) to assess ways to reduce the environmental impacts of the campus. In 2008, Governor Deval Patrick signed Executive Order 484 which included the provision that all state buildings be certified under the LEED rating system. At the same time, UMA made the commitment to achieve LEED-Silver or better for all new construction and major renovations. In 2010, EPAC created the Green Building Committee (GBC) to focus efforts on sustainable design and building on campus.

During the summer of 2010, the GBC - a cross disciplinary group comprised of faculty, staff, and students - met biweekly to produce a document which is based on, but not limited to, the LEED-NC 2009 rating system. The committee reviewed the LEED credits and prerequisites and established priority and feasibility levels for each based on the environmental realities and mission of the University. A narrative summary of background information and campus-specific research was created for each category, credit, and prerequisite. The final report and slide presentation summarize the current knowledge and points of view from many UMA stakeholders, and are critical tools in the effort to advance sustainability through high performance buildings on campus.