At Williams College, sustainability is a top priority for the entire campus community. Faculty, students and staff all play role towards reducing the college’s carbon footprint. The Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, home for the college’s sustainability efforts, provides a connection point for the collaborative efforts of the numerous departments and stakeholders engaged in the common goal of reducing the environmental footprint of the college.
Committed to construction and maintenance that adheres to best practices in sustainability and renewable energy sources, the campus has integrated a number of high-performance building standards. In addition to LEED, these include Petal, Zero Energy and Passive House Certifications. The South Science Center, the first of two planned additions to the Morley Science Center designed by Payette, is featured by Williams College on a self-guided sustainability tour.
The building pairs new biology, chemistry and physics labs and faculty offices with a range of formal and informal meeting and study spaces, welcoming students into the sciences. Sustainable features include a robust, energy conserving building envelope that employs terracotta, a naturally maintenance free material. It also features bird friendly glazing, a photo voltaic solar array and many of the materials selected have a high-recycled content. The project takes a campus approach to water efficiency by using all excess air handling unit condensate and reverse osmosis reject water not used for toilet flushing, combined with harvested roof rainwater, to backfeed the Morley Science Center chillers saving over 860,000 gallons of potable water per year.