As part of its commitment to sustainability, Duke has set a high standard for all its new buildings and major renovations. A policy was adopted by the university in 2003 that requires new projects to be designed with the goal of obtaining a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) ranking of silver and a minimum of certified, which features strategies aimed at improving energy savings, water efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction.
With 28 currently certified projects and 5 registered projects, Duke ranks as one of the most sustainable schools in the country. The university also features the world's first LEED platinum-rated residence hall - the Home Depot Smart Home; the first LEED gold-rated steam plant - the East Campus Steam Plant; and the first LEED-certified free standing parking garage, the Research Drive Garage.
As Duke has grown with the LEED program, we have recognized the need to go beyond the standard rating system. We are in the process of developing internal standards to maximize the efficiency, conservation, sustainability, and economic return of Green Building projects.