Yale Divinity School is scheduled to break ground next month on the New Haven, Connecticut, campus on a living-building residence hall that will house students in a way that gives back to the environment more than it takes.
The Divinity School says "The Living Village" is designed to meet the standards of the Living Building Challenge (LBC), an international certification system that promotes sustainable design and construction.
The project aims to make a moral and theological statement about the need for constructing buildings that are in harmony with nature in a time of climate crisis. The facility is scheduled to open in August 2025 with space for 51 students. Additional units are planned in a second phase of construction.
The project will provide much-needed affordable housing for students and provide a valuable learning experience showing students a different way of building and living, Divinity School Dean Greg Sterling said.
"It has never been more obvious that the status quo is unsustainable," Sterling said. "Rather than impeding a sustainable future, American religion can and must be a force for environmental responsibility and progress, as exemplified by Yale Divinity School's Living Village project."
Among the building's features:
* Net-positive carbon, energy, and water footprint
* Construction that uses recycled and environmentally benign materials
* Holistic architectural design that will connect with the school's existing quadrangle in a united living and learning environment
Living Building Challenge founder Jason F. McLennan is a consultant to the project. "The beauty and power of a project like this," McLennan said, "is how it will change the students who come through the Divinity School, who will go out and teach, preach, and inspire their communities. They will not unlearn their experience living in a building like this."
The Living Village is being constructed on what is now the Divinity School's parking lot.
When it opens in 2025, the Living Village will be the largest LBC living-certified building on a university campus. Among other "firsts," it will also be the first LBC living certified project in the Ivy League and the first at any college or university in Connecticut.
The design team is led by Bruner/Cott Architects and also includes Howeler + Yoon Architecture, Andropogon Associates, and several other firms, as well as Yale's Office of Facilities.