Programs

Buildings

Sustainable Design, Operations, and Efficiency

Buildings are generally the largest user of energy and the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions on college campuses. Buildings also use significant amounts of potable water and materials, and can negatively impact human health. Furman strives to design, build, and maintain buildings in ways that provide a safe and healthy indoor environment for inhabitants while simultaneously mitigating the building’s impact on the outdoor environment.

Did You Know?

Furman has eight LEED certified buildings including Hipp Hall, the first LEED certified building in South Carolina, and The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, a former Southern Living Green Design Showcase home.

The Physical Activities Center (PAC) is home to a large solar thermal system that generates hot water for the building. The roof also holds a 95 kW solar photovoltaic array that provides electricity to the building, and the elliptical machines are equipped with ReRev technology, which generates electricity from the energy of students, faculty, and staff working out!

The Living Machine system located in the greenhouse adjacent to Townes Science Center is a tidal wetland wastewater treatment facility. Wastewater from the science center and the physical activities center are naturally treated through a series of wetland basins and then reused inside Townes Science Center for toilet flushing. 

Since 2013, the North Village apartments, which house upperclass students, run on highly efficient geothermal ground-source heat pumps, which take advantage of the constant temperature of the earth to pre-heat or pre-cool air for ventilation. 

What’s Next?

We strive to improve the efficiency, operations, and work environment of our buildings and are currently:

  • Drafting an indoor air quality policy for our working spaces.
  • Transitioning the university lighting systems to LED lights.
  • Considering implementing a full life cycle analysis approach to building design and operation.
  • Pursuing more renewable sources of electricity through our energy provider.