UNH is committed to being as sustainable as feasible in its construction and renovation of buildings. In 2006, UNH was the first campus in the US to receive the USEPA ENERGY STAR rating for residence halls. To date, UNH has two LEED Gold buildings - James Hall and the Paul College of Business and Economics - and one LEED Silver equivalent building - DeMerrit Hall.

james hall in the winter

  • UNH Planning, Design and Construction Guidelines provide general instructions to designers in the planning and preparation of construction documents, as well as general guidance to construction professionals working on projects for the University. The purpose is to ensure a minimum standard of quality, durability, consistency, maintainability, and sustainability in building and infrastructure design and construction. 
  • As part of its American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment pledgeUNH has made a commitment to achieve the equivalent of U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver for new construction and major renovations, including the formal commissioning of each new project. The guidelines alone provide the equivalent to at least a LEED basic certified level. Each new project is expected to develop a set of sustainable design objectives specific to that project above and beyond what is in the guidelines.

The UNH Planning, Design and Construction Guidelines describe that attention must be given to the proper sorting and recycling of construction and demolition materials. 

In 2009-2010, UNH Facilities Design & Construction and Shawmut Design & Construction used the following waste reduction plan, in concert with the LEED-NC 2.2 Submittal Template MR Credit 2.1/2,2: Construction Waste Management, for the renovation of James Hall.

• Shawmut Design and Construction provided recycling area with several dumpsters / collection containers for the separation of materials. The amount and size of containers / dumpsters were determined by onsite recycling coordinators and was dependent on the phase of construction activity and the level of specific waste being generated.

• Dumpsters were hauled off site to licensed recyclable material receivers and processed. An itemized description of the load including weight and manifest was required from the recycler / material processor. The recycling coordinator kept a detailed record of recycled materials and submitted this information pursuant to LEED Credit MR2.2.

• The majority of waste was separated onsite and recycled using the specific materials containers. For the remaining miscellaneous waste, a General Refuse Dumpster was placed on site. This dumpster was hauled to a general recycling facility to be separated and recycled to the greatest extent possible. Remaining debris was disposed of in a landfill.

• Recycling containers were located in close proximity to the existing building and the ongoing work. Each container was clearly labeled with acceptable / unacceptable material lists. All subcontractors were contractually bound to the recycling effort and informed of the importance of non-contamination with other waste materials.Recycling coordinators inspected containers regularly to ensure that no contamination was occurring and that public waste was not being deposited into the containers.

  • Light sensors are used in over 75% of campus buildings ranging from occupancy sensors in office, bathrooms, classrooms, etc to daylighting controls that reduce light output based on incoming natural light through windows. Our occupancy standard is Wattstopper brand sensors and other systems have been utilized to control corridors, daylighting, and A/V controls such as Lutron and Square D. More information is available in Section 16510 and Section 16530 of the UNH Planning, Design and Construction Guidelines.
  •  UNH uses LED lighting (Section 16510 Interior Luminaries of the UNH Planning, Design and Construction Guidelines). Choice of fixtures are made with the following considerations:
    • Energy efficiency and sound rating
    • Quality of lighting
    • Ease of installation and installation flexibility
    • Ease of maintenance
    • Suitability for the specific application
    • Replacement parts availability
    • Consideration of potential abuse
  • UNH has moved away from exterior metal halide fixtures and has identified LED replacements as the new exterior fixture of choice. We use them in walkway, street, and building exterior fixtures.
  • UNH uses VendingMiser® technology in vending machines. Maintenance savings is generated through reduced running time of vendor components, estimated at $40 - $80 per year, per machine. Energy consumption is reduced an average of 46% -- typically $150 per machine annually.

  • Several million dollars have been invested in retrofit projects across the UNH Durham campus, including high efficiency lighting, motor, heating, and cooling, control systems; window upgrades; conversion of electric clothes dryers to natural gas dryers in residence halls; and conversion of domestic hot water conversions from electricity to natural gas.
  • Electric hand dryers in restrooms are our campus standard for new construction and renovation. UNH is also working to escalate retrofits from paper towels to hand dryers where feasible.

NH submeters every building for its consumption of electricity, natural gas, domestic cold water, hot water heat, steam heat, chilled water cooling. We capture heat and cooling meters through our central energy management system. The 600 meters are manually read each month, while a radio metering system captures the readings real-time and displays to the public at

Temperature Control

UNH utilizes an energy management system featuring Andover controls (TAC) that allows the UNH energy office to monitor and adjust building energy systems based on automatic occupancy sensors, classroom scheduling, and other devices that trigger the equipment to turn off or ramp down in energy use to minimize consumption. All core campus buildings are tied to our energy management system, which increases and decreases temperatures based on occupancy and time schedules. Typical spaces are heated from 7am-10pm as a maximum M-F and off on weekends. We also use sensors to turn off space heating in some areas. For classrooms, we use the schedule from the registrar’s office to also shut down spaces when unused. If someone is in the space when the system is off, they have an override button that will give them 2 hours of heat. For areas not on the core campus, we employ programmable thermostats which mimic the normal hours for the space.