Green Building Practices

Sustainable Design
Campus development presents an opportunity to reflect and advance the values of the university community. Puget Sound is committed to promoting sustainable design on campus through environmental stewardship and the pursuit of highly sustainable measures. The university is further committed to promoting awareness of such measures as learning opportunities for members of the university community and the greater Tacoma region.

The university considers sustainable building as an integrated framework of design, construction, operations, and demolition practices that encompass the environmental, economic, and social impacts of buildings. Sustainable design includes the efficient management of energy and water resources, management of materials and waste, protection of health and indoor environmental quality, protection of the environment, reinforcement of natural systems, and an integrated design approach.

The university’s Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC) co-chairs are members of the Tapestry for Learning Committee, which advises the president regarding master plan policies, guidelines and projects. SAC co-chair participation facilitates continuous consideration of sustainability in master planning and project development.

Sustainable Guidelines

The following measures exemplify sustainable design practices that are considered and practicably applied to the management, design, and construction of development projects:

  • Sites & Landscape 
    • Maximizing quality and quantity of landscape
    • Using native plants and plants that do not require irrigation
    • Creating habitat
    • Encouraging transportation options
  • Energy & Atmosphere
    • Optimizing the use of day lighting
    • Using natural ventilation
    • Creating building envelopes that respond to sun and human comfort
    • Maximizing renewable energy use
    • Designing for longevity
  • Materials & Resources 
    • Reducing waste
    • Using local materials
    • Creating healthy buildings with low toxicity
    • Designing for longevity

The following policies support the above practices:

  • Adoption of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards whenever feasible. LEED certification is a lesser priority than the use of LEED supported practices.
  • Adoption of Life Cycle Cost Analysis standards to optimize energy and water efficiency in buildings and to appropriately consider both capital and operating budgets.
  • Integration of sustainable solutions at the campus/community level, in addition to the building level, such as sustainability awareness and recycling programs.

In addition, buildings that must be removed are de-constructed and recycled at a minimum target rate of 85 percent.