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

High Performance Buildings

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

To ensure campus buildings are designed and constructed sustainably, NC State has committed that all new construction and major renovations over 20,000 square feet are at minimum LEED Silver Certified. NC State University currently has 1,962,101 gross square feet LEED Certified.

LEED Certified Projects

Energy Star Certified

The following buildings have been awarded ENERGY STAR certification for strict energy performance standards and approximately 35 percent less energy and carbon dioxide emissions than a typical building.

  • Carroll Residence Hall
  • Tucker Residence Hall
  • Sullivan Residence Hall
  • Venture Buildings

What Makes a Building Sustainable?

Sustainability certification is achieved by integrating innovative features into buildings. These features boost efficiency and help conserve resources while also improving the quality of the building occupants' experience. Examples include:

  • Using daylighting instead of electrical light fixtures
  • Minimizing water use with efficient plumbing fixtures, native plants that require less irrigation and rainwater collection that reduces use of potable water for irrigation
  • Energy efficient HVAC systems, building design, lighting, windows and occupancy sensors that automatically adjust energy use when a room is empty
  • Access to mass transit and alternative ways of travel beyond single-occupancy vehicles
  • Good indoor air quality due to environmentally-friendly cleaning products, paints, adhesives, furniture and finishes
  • Use of locally sourced and/or recycled construction materials
  • Green roofs, which incorporate a vegetative layer that helps reduce energy use, improve stormwater quality and decrease 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.

For campus construction and renovation projects that do not fall under LEED requirements, NC State has established a three-tier system for integrating sustainability requirements. 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 (download as PDF):

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 (Tiers I – III) 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 (Tiers 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


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