Building Minimizes Environmental Impact

James M. Jeffords Hall, University of Vermont

Academic laboratory buildings have traditionally consumed five to ten times the energy of a classroom or office facility of equal size. These labs often make use of high-powered equipment and refrigeration systems, requiring specialized ventilation systems to keep the equipment cool and prevent cross-contamination of chemicals and organic compounds. In fact, research laboratories can account for as much as two-thirds of a university campus’s energy consumption.

Conversely, the modern laboratory facilities of UVM’s new James Jeffords Hall were designed to minimize their impact on the environment. Home to the University’s plant biology and plant and soil science departments, its research laboratories, wet and dry teaching labs, general-purpose classrooms and offices provide experiential learning opportunities in molecular, ecological and environmental research. The building was also designed to provide for transportation of plants and material to the existing greenhouses.

Thanks to energy-efficient measures including leaner meaner HVAC systems and an underground steam and chilled water system that connects to the university’s campus services, Jeffords Hall minimizes its impact on the environment and has achieved LEED Gold status.


Ellenzweig Associates Freeman French Freeman

Size / Cost

96,000 SF / $38 million


electrical, fire protection, mechanical, plumbing, site utilities, technology