Stanford Business School Goes Green

Posted by: Louis Lavelle on September 12, 2008

NewStanfordCampus.JPG

There it is, folks: the new Stanford Business School campus. Slated to open in the 2010-11 academic year, the $350 million project is easily one of the most ambitious business school construction plans in recent memory. It includes eight separate buildings around three quads and will contain a 600-seat lecture hall, dining facilities, underground parking for 900 vehicles, and dedicated space for career management and executive education programs.

And one last thing: the whole shootin’ match will be LEED platinum certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, the highest sustainable building certifcation you can get. All of which is something of a trend among b-schools these days, as Francesca DiMeglio points out in today’s top b-school story.

How green will the new campus be? Very. In addition to recylcing or salvaging as much as 75% of the construction debris created during the building phase, when complete the project aims to reduce overall water usage by at least 30%, exceed current energy efficiency standards by at least 40%, and use rainwater or re-circulated "gray water" to reduce potable water use for building sewage by 80%.

What makes this really interesting to me is that the whole project, which is being named for Nike founder Phil Knight (MBA '62) in recognition of his $105 million gift, was designed to accomodate Stanford's new curriculum, which calls for smaller classes and cross-disciplinary experiences with Stanford's six other schoools. So it's filled with flexible classroom space, breakout rooms, and other features. Dean Robert L. Joss summed it up at the groundbreaking on Wednesday.

Leading universities of the 21st century need business schools that foster extraordinary intellectual innovation and collaboration. This new campus provides the physical infrastructure to enable that academic vision to come to life at Stanford.

That, and it'll have that new-campus smell, too.

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Read daily reports from BusinessWeek editors and reporters Louis Lavelle, Geoff Gloeckler, Alison Damast and Francesca Di Meglio and boost your chances of getting into your best-fit B-school.

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