Human Ecology Building

Human Ecology Building

LEED Certified Platinum

Human Ecology Building earned LEED® Platinum — its highest rating for sustainable structures — making it the first building to achieve the distinction on the Cornell campus. 

On the LEED-certified scorecard, Human Ecology Building scored 53 out of 69 possible points. For a full breakdown, review the report on the US Green Buildings Certification (USGBC) website.

Sustainable Sites Water Efficiency Energy & Atmosphere Materials & Resources Indoor Environmental Quality Innovation & Design Regional Priority
Points Earned 11 / 14 4 / 5 13 / 17 7 / 13 13 / 15 4 / 4 1 / 1

Project Highlights

Students relax in the Human Ecology CommonsDesigned by Gruzen Samton Architects, the building faces Beebe Lake to the north and abuts Botanic Gardens to the east. The tucked-under parking garage greatly diminishes the building's environmental footprint, guarding against loss of vegetation, minimizing stormwater runoff, and preserving open natural areas. It earned additional points as a LEED sustainable site for its vast green roof with more than 25,000 native plantings and for sourcing one-quarter of building supplies within 500 miles of Ithaca and using recycled content for one-third of the building materials.

Energy Outreach Coordinator Erin Moore shows off one of the Human Ecology Building's energy usage dashboards.
Energy dashboards give researchers, students, and others a trove of information to analyze the LEED Platinum building’s efficiency or to launch energy conservation competitions.

The building also scored well for innovative measures to protect indoor environmental quality. Human ecology student interns researched and recommended eco-friendly Greenguard-certified furnishings with low emissions of volatile organic compounds.

Most notable of the building's environmental features is an extensive real-time energy usage monitoring system, allowing occupants to reduce their environmental impact. Building performance data is accessible through an online dashboard, giving researchers, students, and others a trove of information to analyze its efficiency or to launch energy conservation competitions for users.

LEED®, and its related logo, is a trademark owned by the U.S. Green Building Council® and is used with permission.