green roof top

Sherrerd Hall's rooftop plantings: one of Princeton's extensive green roofing systems, some of which are utilized in faculty and student research.

Princeton has established its own rigorous guidelines for sustainable building, ensuring that every new construction and major renovation achieves campus sustainability goals including significant energy cost reduction versus comparable off-campus buildings. These standards require Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) of major building systems, as well as consideration of the building's educational and research potential in sustainability problem-solving. 


Maximize the potential of the built environment to stimulate transformational thinking and exceptional performance in sustainability.


  • neuroscience building

    Since 2008, more than 2 million square feet of new construction and major renovation projects have been built according to Princeton’s aggressive sustainability and energy conservation guidelines.

  • Andlinger Center

    The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment opened October 2015. The Center features green roofs, rain gardens, advanced lighting controls, heat recovery systems, rainwater and condensate harvesting, and more.

  • LCA complex

    The Arts and Transit Project construction was completed in October 2017. The neighborhood features green roofs, biofiltration swales, and daylighting controls as well as highly efficient ground-coupled heat pumps for heating and cooling. 

  • STARS Silver Award

    The AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) allows metric-driven progress assessment across operations and academics for North American higher education and has recognized Princeton at the Silver leadership level

  • Lakeside Graduate Apartments under construction

    A geothermal heating and cooling system was installed at the new Lakeside graduate housing community. Notably, the University selected the technology after applying its internal "carbon tax," which is used when comparing major building systems that cost more upfront but result in economic and environmental benefits over time.

  • LEED logo

    Since 2010, more than 153 hours of sustainability-related continuing education courses were offered to more than 50 Facilities employees, 27 of whom are LEED® Accredited Professionals.

  • The University continues to track towards its commitment to recycle 95 percent of construction and demolition debris for new and renovated buildings, including construction of the Arts and Transit Project, and 20 Washington Road.

What’s Next

  • Continue to apply Life Cycle Cost Analysis to justify efficient technologies that may have higher upfront costs but lower system lifetime costs and other environmental benefits.

  • Evaluate educational and research potential of major and minor projects, where appropriate, as we launch the next Capital Plan.

  • Exploring improvements in applying a more integrative design process that will result in more successful projects.

Related Video

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Princeton University's Frick Chemistry Building is one of several locations featured in the Office of Sustainability's Green Tour.