The location and climate of an academic facility will determine whether high-performance and sustainable techniques can be employed. Taking advantage of the following when climate-appropriate will enhance the efficiency of an academic facility:

  • Natural ventilation. Although use of operable windows in institutional buildings was virtually non-existent a decade ago, it now is gaining popularity because it brings outside air easily into a space.

  • Photovoltaic panels. These are becoming more feasible for academic facilities. The cost is still high, but the federal government and many states provide incentives to make it more affordable.

  • Green roofs. The green roof concept can help improve roof performance in different climates by reducing the urban heat-island effect.

  • Grey-water systems. Grey-water/rainwater harvesting systems can conserve clean water by using harvested water to irrigate a facility's grounds and green roofs, flush its toilets and supply water for mechanical equipment.