Energy and Green Buildings Skip Navigation

Energy and Green Buildings

“Campus planning and building design will incorporate sustainable practices from inception to implementation.” — Colgate's 2014 Strategic Plan

Green Buildings

Green Building Standards
In 2015, Colgate developed and adopted its Green Building Standards. This document will guide all future construction and renovations on campus moving forward. Read More

Residence Hall Monitoring Screenshot of Colgate's water use dashboard
Colgate uses Lucid Building Dashboard® to track electricity, heat, and water usage in student residence halls. The publicly accessible dashboard features up-to-the-minute statistics. CHECK IT OUT!

Green Facilities
  • Trudy Fitness Center:
    In 2011, Trudy became Colgate's first official green building achieving gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. VIDEOSTUDENT RESEARCH
  • Lathrop Hall:
    Lathrop is our first major renovation to achieve LEED certification. 

Renewable Energy

Solar Thermal
The solar thermal panels on the Creative Arts House (100 Broad Street) will eliminate our use of nearly 900 gallons of fuel oil while reducing our heating costs by over $2,600 each year. Furthermore, the 600 square-feet of solar panels will reduce Colgate’s carbon footprint by over nine tons, inching us ever closer to our goal of carbon neutrality by 2019. Since these systems can last for over 20 years, this turns out to be a good deal for both our energy budget and for the planet. READ MORE

Wood-fired Boiler
Colgate's wood-fired boiler satisfies more than 75 percent of the campus's heat and domestic hot water needs.

The boiler processes approximately 20,000 tons of locally and sustainably harvested wood chips per year. Each year, this renewable and carbon-neutral resource helps the university avoid consuming the equivalent of 1.2 million gallons of fuel oil and saves us over $1.8 million in heating costs.

Willow Biomass Pilot Project
We've planted 60,000 8-inch willow shoots on a 7.5-acre plot just a mile from campus. Over the next 20 years, we anticipate yielding approximately 900 dry tons of biomass. Once harvested, our willow will be chipped and used as a supplemental fuel source in our biomass energy plant. READ MORE, STUDENT RESEARCH

Electricity and Energy Savings
Colgate University consumes around 30 million kWh of electricity each year (or over 7,000 kWh per person) and this costs us over $1.3 million annually. Almost all electricity used on campus comes from hydroelectricity, with some supplemental nuclear, coal, and natural gas power. 

As a result, our carbon emissions through electricity consumption is relatively low. Since our Climate Action Planning baseline year in 2009, Colgate has reduced our electricity consumption by nearly 2 million kilowatt-hours. Nevertheless, there are many things we can do to reduce our individual and campus-wide electricity consumption.