NC State’s built environment is one of the most visible ways to showcase a commitment to sustainability. 

To ensure campus buildings are designed and constructed sustainably, the university committed that all new construction and major renovations are at minimum LEED Silver Certified.

The university’s Facilities Division integrates sustainability into building construction, operation and modification. Sustainability is also embedded in the university’s Physical Master Plan and University Construction Guidelines.

Sustainability in Campus Construction

NC State has established a three-tier system for integrating sustainability requirements as part of campus construction projects. The tiers include:

  • Tier I: Budget of $2 million+ AND construction over 20,000 gross square feet and renovations if the replacement value > than insurance value.
  • Tier II: Budget of $250,000 to $2 million.
  • Tier III: Budget of up to $250,000.

Project requirements according to tiers are listed below:

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Integrated Design I II III
Integrated design kickoff meeting notes, with sustainability goals (including items that can be reused or recycled) attached. X X
LEED scorecard (Tier I) with a LEED action plan for each credit, attached. X
A commissioning agent was brought into schematic design and provided review and testing through the completion of the project. X  X
For all projects, refer to Stormwater Design Manual. X X  X
Ensure Tree Protection plan is developed and adhered to for projects with an exterior component. X X  X
Indoor Air Quality I II III
Zero VOC paints in all public spaces, classrooms and offices, excluding metal. X X X
Eliminate the use of adhesives for carpet. X X X
Use only low VOC adhesives and sealants. X X X
No use of aerosol adhesives. X X X
Follow 6 SMACNA guidelines (HVAC Protection, Source Control, Pathway Interruption, Housekeeping, Scheduling, Occupant Relocation) for indoor air quality during construction AND utilize supplemental filtration in occupied buildings. X X X
Investigate the need for duct hygiene in projects with HVAC renovations. X X X
Materials I II III
Equipment and materials are chosen for compatibility across campus. X X X
Equipment and materials are repaired, when feasible, before replacement becomes cost effective. X X
Prefer NC manufactured materials (concrete, lumber, steel, textiles, masonry). X X X
Recycling and Reuse I II III
Reuse materials when possible.  Leftover scraps are placed in Shop Storage, Student Reuse Trailer or Campus Satellite Staging Areas. X
Donate or allocate reusable materials. Input reuse information on Reuse Tracking Form. Order of diversion options: A.) Surplus, B.) Habitat for Humanity, C.) Waste Reduction and Recycling X X X
Recycle what cannot be reused, with a goal of 75 percent diversion. Waste diversion is tracked by WRR.  Input waste information on LEED Online (Tier 1) or Construction Waste Management tracking sheet (Tier II and III). X X X
Assure that building occupants have access to recycling. X X X
Efficiency I II III
Completed Lifecycle cost templates per State Construction Office requirement with narrative explanation for any phase of value engineering. Inclusion of building operations staff in value engineering reviews. X
Energy model was used as an iterative tool. An as-built energy model, with a summary of assumptions, is attached. X X
Meters and sub-meters are tied into the Enterprise Level Control System. X X X
Project’s measurement and verification plan was developed and attached (for LEED and SB 668 projects). X
Target energy and water savings of 30 percent and 50 percent respectively.  Energy savings are tracked on Request for Project Number form (Tier I and II). Energy savings are identified in AIM with Energy Management (Tier III). X X X
Campus Satellite Staging Areas reduce total driving time and energy use. X
Close Out I II III
Electronic as-built energy model, with summary of inputs and outputs, submitted. X
LEED documentation submitted on LEED Online. X
Complete sustainability lessons learned summary meeting. X X


Additional Sustainable Building Features

Energy Star Certified Buildings


NC State has several ENERGY STAR™ certified buildings that have met strict energy performance standards and use approximately 35 percent less energy and carbon dioxide emissions than a typical building. Carroll, Tucker and Sullivan residence halls, as well as the Venture Buildings on Centennial Campus, have been awarded ENERGY STAR certification . To qualify for the ENERGY STAR™ designation, a building or manufacturing plant must score in the top 25 percent based on the EPA’s national energy performance rating system .


Space Management


Efficient use of space in existing buildings reduce the need to construct new buildings. That’s why NC State has a robust space management initiative that tracks how campus building space is used and how space utilization can be maximized. Beginning in fall 2013, software will link office and research lab space with specific users of that space, revealing any underutilized space that could be repurposed for another campus use.

Green Roofs


Green roofs incorporate a vegetative layer onto a rooftop, resulting in benefits such as reduced energy use, improved stormwater quality and decreased air pollution. NC State green roofs are located at Engineering Building III, JC Raulston Arboretum, James B. Hunt Jr. Library, Talley Student Union and Wolf Ridge Student Apartments.


How NC State Can Help

The university offers the following resources related to sustainable buildings:

On Campus