Stanford, CA.The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced this week that Carnegie’s Global Ecology department building is among the top 10 buildings in the country that are “examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that promote and enhance the environment.” The building was completed in 2004 and is located on the Stanford University campus.


“The building proclaims our mission,” remarked Chris Field, Global Ecology’s director. “We are extremely pleased with this recognition. The innovative design by EHDD architecture, Rumsey Engineers, and the rest of a great team has resulted in reducing carbon emissions by 72% for operations and 50% for building materials. We hope others will follow our example and build similarly to reduce carbon emissions, save money, and help minimize the threat of climate change.”


Researchers at Global Ecology investigate the interactions of the climate and Earth’s ecosystems from the smallest to the largest scales. They focus on global climate change, biodiversity, and water issues. From the outset, they wanted their 10,900 square-foot building to reduce carbon emissions and water use, and use recycled materials without sacrificing the performance of a state-of-the-art laboratory and research space.


Richard A. Meserve, Carnegie president, observed that “the building is a success in every dimension. It is extremely energy efficient, but was not significantly more costly to build than a conventional building. Equally important, it is comfortable. There is no sense that any sacrifice has been made to achieve superb environmental performance.”


The building’s orientation allows for natural lighting and shading and maximizes ventilation. Radiant heat and an evaporative cooling tower help keep the temperatures in check. The exterior siding was made from salvaged wine-cask redwood, while the interior wood is FSC-certified. Conference room and lobby furniture was made from salvaged trees from a nearby municipal yard. About 20% of site concrete aggregate came from recycled aggregate. No-irrigation landscaping, low-flow sinks, dual-flush toilets, and other features have reduced water use by one third.


Although the building uses a fraction of the energy of a typical laboratory in California, Carnegie has purchased carbon offsets to reduce the carbon footprint of the building to zero.


AIA’s Top 10 Green Projects Program began in 1997. For more information see

News Topic: 
Climate Change