In the Community

Green Buildings

Master Planning

Did you know that UMass Boston is built on a landfill and is a great example of sustainable site selection and brownfield redevelopment? 

Sustainability is one of the guiding principles of master planning at UMass Boston. UMass Boston was a participant in the Massachusetts Sustainable Roundtable that helped develop the Massachusetts LEED Plus green building standards. Currently, the standards include:

  • sustainable site development
  • energy efficient building design and materials
  • renewable energy sources and technologies
  • use of recyclable and locally available materials
  • clean transportation alternatives

UMass Boston’s new Integrated Sciences Complex (ISC) that opened in 2015 is the first new academic building on the University of Massachusetts Boston campus in nearly 40 years and the first campus building to achieve LEED Gold certification. University Hall (UH) is the second new academic building in the UMass Boston Master Plan. It began a phased opening in January 2016 and is tracking LEED Gold.

For more information, visit

Graphic says Climate Ready Boston

Climate Resilience

UMass Boston is a leader in climate resilience and preparedness research. Led by UMass Boston’s Dean Robyn Hannigan, School for the Environment, the Boston Research Advisory Group (BRAG) was established in 2015 to  develop a consensus on the possible climate changes and sea level rise that the City of Boston and Metro Regions will face in the future by 2030, 2050, 2070, and 2100. Working to achieve a consistent climate projection, the BRAG group works with the UMass System, faculty experts, institutions, foundations, government, and statewide stakeholders and beyond in laying the groundwork for climate resilience planning and measures.

Regional Mayor’s Climate Preparedness Summit, Community Engagement Forums

In May 2015, the UMass Boston campus hosted the Regional Mayor’s Climate Preparedness Summit. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh was joined by more than a dozen Greater Boston mayors to formalize a commitment to climate preparedness and resilience. The summit concluded with a dozen Greater Boston mayors signing the "Metro Boston Climate Preparedness Commitment," a regional agreement to establish a common policy framework throughout the Metro Boston area to prepare for climate change.

In July 2016, UMass system won approval of federal and state hazard mitigation plans to help in climate preparedness and resiliency measure on each campus. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) approved the university’s multi-campus plan that will help identify and protect students, faculty and staff, buildings, and critical services like heat, electricity, and data storage from potential hazards, business continuity processes, and more.

Campus Center

Many of the Campus Center’s award-winning green design and operations features were highlighted in UMass Boston’s Sustainable University of the Year Award. The Campus Center was featured on WCVB-TV's Chronicle when it opened in 2004; now it is participating in the NESEA Green Building Open House tours.

The Campus Center was designed using LEED criteria and numerous, energy efficient and energy conservation features, including white roofing and sensor lighting.

It was constructed with a large amount of open space that provides natural lighting during the day, low e windows, indoor plants, and eco-friendly and ergonomic furniture that includes universal design features.

Containers are located throughout the facility to support paper recycling, commingled glass/metal, and plastics #1-7; cardboard, e-waste, and bulk recyclables are recycled through comprehensive recycling.

Restroom faucets have been fitted with automatic shut-off devices; toilets and urinals have been fitted with water-saving flush mechanisms.

The Campus Center's central food court composts all cafeteria dinnerware, trays, and food waste.

All department printers and copy machines within the Campus Center utilize 30% post-consumer recycled copy paper or higher.

Within the loading dock area, the Campus Center contains an onsite cardboard compactor, recycling nearly 100% of all shipping, packaging and office-related cardboard products.

Computer controls manage both heating and air conditioning to reduce energy consumption and maximize the use of energy resources only when the building is occupied.

During the growing season and when available, university food services utilizes locally grown fruits, vegetables, and dairy.

The cleaning and maintenance staff use cleaning products that are primarily natural, non-toxic, and earth-friendly.

UMass Boston also serves organic coffee and fair trade certified products in our cafeterias.