Energy & Green Buildings

We design and construct our buildings to last hundreds of years and support generations of students.


Taking the time to integrate sustainability into our buildings helps our institution to prevent future emissions and unnecessary energy spending, and better serve our students as a living lab.

Green Building Standards

Colgate first adopted green building standards in 2015 and they are regularly updated to reflect the latest innovations in sustainable design. Colgate’s green building standards specify that all new construction and major renovations now must achieve a minimum rating of LEED Silver. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and its building standards are globally recognized for the building of sustainable facilities.

View the Green Building Standards (PDF)

The facilities have been built or renovated to achieve the listed LEED ratings.

  • Benton Hall: Platinum
  • Class of 1965 Arena: Gold
  • Trudy Fitness Center: Gold
  • Lathrop Hall: Certified

Building and Residence Hall Monitoring

To inventory its emissions and track progress in the reduction of resource usage, Colgate has in place monitoring systems that track electricity, heat, and water usage in all buildings. See real-time data for the below buildings on our dashboard. 

  • Student residence halls
  • Benton Hall
  • Class of 1965 Arena

Launch dashboard


In 2018, we completed our first Energy Master Plan outlining a roadmap to decrease energy use across campus. In addition to striving for reductions in energy consumption, Colgate utilizes renewable energy sources to power and heat the university. Some of the renewable energy resources currently in use include:

Colgate’s central heating plant features a wood-fired boiler, which processes locally and sustainably sourced wood chips from regional mills. This renewable and carbon-neutral resource helps Colgate reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

An installation of 600 sq. ft. of solar thermal panels on the student residence at 100 Broad St. will annually eliminate the use of nearly 900 gallons of fuel oil, reducing Colgate's heating cost by over $2,600 and its carbon footprint by over 9 tons.

Colgate installed a geothermal heat exchange system at Chapel House, the spiritual retreat center on campus. This system reduces the university’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Colgate has significantly reduced its electricity consumption since first measuring its baseline in 2009. Additionally, the university is now purchasing all electricity used from renewable sources.