How the Knight Management Center Went Green
Former Dean Robert Joss emphasized, "Progress on environmental sustainability will only come about if businesses act differently, and if the organizations and systems designed to promote sustainable behavior are constructed and managed in the most effective manner." With that vision, the course was set for the Knight Management Center to be an example of business leading change.
Construction of the Knight Management Center also leverages Stanford President John L. Hennessy's call for the University to be a force for change on issues of global importance, especially regarding the environment.
The Knight Management Center is Stanford’s and the Business School’s demonstrable example of leadership in business and the environment.
LEED® Platinum Rating for the Knight Management Center
The Graduate School of Business chose to seek the LEED® Platinum rating for the design of the new Knight Management Center, which is the highest level of certification offered by the LEED® Green Building Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council. The Knight Management Center serves as an environmentally sustainable model that inspires the GSB and Stanford communities and beyond.
Key goals for the Knight Management Center:
- Flexibility: From site design to floor plate to office layout, we created adaptable spaces that can accommodate present and future needs.
- Energy: We designed the facilities' mechanical and electrical systems to exceed current energy efficiency standards by at least 42%, and we will generate at least 12.5% of our electricity use on site.
- Water: We use rainwater and/or re-circulated gray water to reduce potable water use for building sewage conveyance by 80%.
- Materials: Throughout the facilities, we use low or no volatile organic compound-emitting materials to ensure exceptional indoor air quality.
- Economics: We used life cycle cost analysis, rather than simple payback, to evaluate design decisions in building what is envisioned to be a 100-year facility.
Stanford University and our Sustainable Campus Master Plan Legacy
Frederick Law Olmsted's master plan for Stanford University, developed in the late 1800s, has the Main Quad as the dominant feature of the campus. For the 21st century and beyond, Stanford has embarked on a mission to build on and restore the original master plan by reinforcing Serra Street as the primary east/west axis for the campus. Placing the Graduate School of Business at the east end of Serra Street, with the School of Medicine at the west end, strengthens the importance of Serra Street as the primary campus link.
This east/west axis is also the ideal orientation for sustainable building design. The eight buildings that comprise the Knight Management Center predominantly take advantage of the southern exposure to reduce the need for artificial lighting, while the long north orientation allows us to take advantage of the Mediterranean climate through the use of operable windows providing natural ventilation to many interior spaces.
For the landscape plantings, Stanford has continuously used native and drought-tolerant plantings to reduce the need for irrigation. This tradition is continued at the Knight Management Center.
Stan Boles, Boora Architects, discusses the school's quest for LEED® Platinum Certification. (6:07 minutes)