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ERIC Number: EJ792518
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6405
A Building like a Tree, a Campus like a Forest: Sustainable Design Comes to New England Higher Education
McDonough, William; Braungart, Michael; Dale, Diane
Connection: The Journal of the New England Board of Higher Education, v17 n1 p16-18 Sum 2002
As in other regions, development on many New England campuses over the past 30 years has tended to be more random than planned. Following the same patterns of sprawl that have defined most development in today's era, the placement of new campus buildings often separated them from the life of the university, while a hodgepodge of architectural styles clashed with the vocabulary of the historic quad. Lost, or at least diminished, is a fundamental asset of academic life in New England: the experience of community on a campus uniquely and beautifully attuned to its surroundings. In recent years, an evolving understanding of the environmental impacts of new buildings has further separated campus architecture from a legacy universities can wholeheartedly embrace. The University of Rhode Island, for one, is trying to change that. There, planning is underway for a cluster of new buildings many hope will mend the fracture between forward-thinking new development and the historic campus. Though pencils have not yet been put to paper, planners foresee the new buildings as the foundation of a sustainable academic community, a model of "green design" that will project the values of environmental responsibility while enhancing the traditional assets of New England campus life. This melding of sustainability with strategic planning is not only the shape of things to come in campus architecture but the signal of a deeper cultural shift that may well change one's understanding of literacy. Sustainable design is not an ideology that imposes foregone conclusions on a setting. But as planning proceeds, students and professors at URI just may decide they too want a building like a tree--and a campus like a New England forest.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A