Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting much of campus life on hold, from in-person classes to Ivy League sports, one aspect of the College’s campus operations has been moving full-steam ahead even amidst the pandemic: construction.
Two new buildings will soon reshape the landscape of the west end of campus: the Irving Institute for Energy and Society and the new Center for Engineering and Computer Science. Additionally, on historic Dartmouth Row, two buildings — Dartmouth Hall and Thornton Hall — are undergoing renovations. Across the street, the Hopkins Center for the Arts is slated to begin renovations at the end of next year.
During the building process, every project team has had to adhere to Dartmouth’s High Performance Building Energy Policy, which has set sustainability and energy usage guidelines for all College construction since 2016.
Among other goals, these guidelines stipulate that all new projects that cost over $10 million must target LEED certification, a green building certification program first developed in the 1990s by Robert Watson ’84. There are four levels of LEED certification — certified, silver, gold and platinum, with platinum being the most rigorous and environmentally conscious. The Irving Institute is expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification, while the Center for Engineering and Computer Science is expected to achieve LEED Gold — the second-highest level — after finishing construction.
According to campus services director of communications Lisa Celone, sustainability concerns were considered through all steps of the building process.