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Sustainability At RIT

Buildings and Grounds

Buildings and Grounds


RIT’s campus is situated on 1,159 acres of land.  On the 200 acres of Finish-Cut areas, the grounds staff employs integrated pest management.  Landscape waste and brush are composted or mulched on site for use as topsoil, fill and mulch around campus.  A tree audit is currently underway to identify the variety of species on campus and their locations.

In addition to the managed acres, there are 179 acres of federally designated wetlands that weave throughout and surround the main portion of campus.  The wetlands are a rich source of biodiversity and serve as an excellent subject for classes and research conducted by faculty and students.  As such increasing attention is being paid to stormwater management as a means to protect water quality.


New Buildings

All new buildings at RIT will be designed to LEED specification with a minimum achievement of LEED Silver certification.

  • Designed based on the customized energy modeling input
  • Engaged in the NYSERDA energy incentives program
  • Equipped with a demonstration of building's energy performance indicative of the energy use in 'average kW per square foot' of floor space

What is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a point-based rating system for buildings developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). It promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in the following key areas:  Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Locations & Linkages, Awareness & Education, Innovation in design, and Regional Priorities.

The level of LEED certification, certified, silver, gold or platinum, is dependent upon the number of points achieved, with platinum being the highest level of certification possible.

Summary of LEED Building Projects on Campus

Building Score   LEED Approved Credits Date More

  Target Achieved Version SS    WE    EA    MR    EQ    ID    Total Certified
CAST Undefined Gold 2.2 9        5       6       5        11     5     41 08, 2008 Link »
USC Gold Platinum 2.2 13      4       15     8        12     5     57 12, 2010 Link »
GV Gold Gold 2.2 10      2       7       6        12     5     42 07, 2012 Link
GIS Platinum Platinum 3.0   03, 2014 Link
IH Gold Gold 2.2   10, 2014 Link
Rosica Silver Gold 3.0   10, 2014 Link
GPC Silver pending 3.0      


Existing Buildings

In 2010 RIT began retro-commissioning existing buildings.  Retro-commissioning is a process that seeks to improve how building equipment and systems function together. The in-depth analysis can result in improved operations and maintenance procedures which enhance overall building performance.  To date, retro-commissioning projects have resulted in annual energy savings totaling more than $160,000.

Green Cleaning

RIT has had a green cleaning program in place since 2006.  The program includes the purchase of certified green cleaning products, waste reduction strategies, the development of policies and procedures and staff training.  In fact, all building services staff members undergo Rochester Midland Corporation’s green housekeeping training and all of the products used for daily cleaning in academic and administrative buildings as well as student housing facilities are certified green products.