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Campus Buildings

Buildings and the activities that take place in them greatly impact the environment and people. Green buildings reduce the university's ecological footprint including energy consumption and pollution. At UW Oshkosh we are committed to green buildings. We aspire to a minimum of LEED Gold certification when possible.

Learn more about UW Oshkosh's sustainable buildings:

*LEED Certified Building Construction

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is the rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable building design. The LEED system assigns points for green features in several categories that are then tallied up. The total of points places the building project in one of four levels including: Certified (the basic), Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Platinum is very difficult to achieve and only a handful of places in Wisconsin have reached this level of certification.  Learn more from the U.S. Green Building Council.


LEED Certified Campus Buildings


Horizon Village Residence Hall

LEED Gold Certified

Heating and Cooling

      • Includes a hybrid geothermal/conventional heating and cooling system
      • 56 geothermal wells are placed underground for heating water for the building
      • Heat recovery system is used to retrieve excess heat from the Residence Life data center
      • Individual temperature control gauges in each individual room

Green Roof & Bioswales

      • Slows down and reduces the volume of runoff
      • Filters water for better water quality
      • Adds insulation in the winter and provides natural cooling through evaporative cooling in the summer
      • Bioswales around the building help contain and filter water and slow down runoff 

Other Features

      • Outdoor patio and indoor fireplace are made of limestone from the previous hall
      • Electrical energy consumption was reduced by 80,000 KWH from 2013 to 2014
      • Bike garage gives the opportunity to students to bring their bikes to campus


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Sage Hall

LEED Gold Certified

Saves an estimated 40% in energy costs compared to standard construction

  • 10% from on-site renewable sources
  • 30% saved through natural lighting
    • Includes: low-tech light shelves that reflect light to provide softer light and automatic blinds that regulates the intensity of light 

Photovoltaic Panels

  • 188 non-tracking (fix-mounted) panels on the roof and 3 pole-mounted tracking systems rated at a total of 47.1 kW (enough electricity to meet the needs of 3-4 houses)

Solar Thermal Panels

  • 60 rooftop panels produce up to 3 million BTUs/day providing 70% of the hot water needs of the building and providing radiant floor heating
    • Reduces the need for forced air, thereby making the lecture rooms quieter

Green Roof

  • 5,203 sq. ft. and can hold 6,192 gallons of water
  • Reduces the volume and speed of runoff and filters the rainwater
  • Providing some insulation in winter and evaporative cooling in summer


  • Grounds engineered to retain storm water in bioswales
  • Reduce the volume and speed of the runoff, and to improve water quality (materials tend to be tolerant of a range of conditions consist of plants native to Wisconsin)

Improved Indoor Air Quality

  • Inside uses products (e.g., paints, adhesives, furniture) that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs)


  • Sage should last twice as long as conventional buildings


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Student Success Center

LEED Silver Certified

  • First LEED building at UW Oshkosh
  • Features a ground source geothermal system that makes heating and cooling 70% more efficient
  • 84 photovoltaic panels on the roof generate an estimated annual 23,973 kWh of electricity


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Alumni Welcome and Conference Center

LEED Gold Certified
Site Features

  • No irrigation system was used for plantings and lawns
  • Indigenous plantings used in site landscaping
  • Biofiltration basins are part of the site plan for stormwater treatment
  • On site bicycle racks for staff and visitor
  • Priority parking for (10) low-fuel / low emissions vehicles provided in parking lot

Building Features

  • All exterior and interior stone is Pewter Lannon stone and native to Wisconsin
  • The grand stair was manufactured in Tomahawk, Wisconsin  
  • Brick is manufactured within 500 mile radius of the building
  • Cellular beams were used to clear span the banquet room, to allow for mechanical, electrical, telecom, plumbing, and fire protection mains to be run within the structure, which reduces the overall building height and envelope materials
  • Entire membrane roof is white EPDM, energy star compliant, and offers high reflectance to promote a cooler roof
  • Daylight sensors for lighting efficiency utilized in perimeter offices and meeting rooms 
  • Building footprint was reduced by incorporating a mechanical mezzanine vs. adding footprint and reducing the open landscape
  • Interior surface finishes (paints, sealants, and adhesives) are all low VOC
  • Machine-room less elevators were selected to help keep the building footprint down
  • Floor gratings and drains are installed at the main public  and service entrances to reduce the introduction of dirt and other pollutants into the building
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures used in the kitchen  and all restrooms
  • Kitchen hood features variable flow controls to optimize exhaust rates for the meals being cooked
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Green Cleaning Program maintains building


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Other Green Buildings


Student Recreation and Wellness Center

Built to LEED Silver criteria, but not certified

  • Used locally sourced building materials and recyclable items during construction
  • Uses a lighting system that senses ambient outdoor light and adjusts the lighting inside
  • Building was built oriented to the north and south to increase energy efficiency
  • Pole mounted photovoltaic tracker system rated at 2.88 kW.
  • A heat recovery wheel captures energy from air that is exhausted from locker rooms, toilet rooms, showers, and janitor closets.
  • Large windows to capture the use of outdoor lighting


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Taylor Residence Hall

  • Features include energy efficient windows, extra thick insulation, an increased amount of natural lighting and individual room climate control
  • 16 rooftop solar thermal panels used to heat water that produce 1,300 therms annually

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Blackhawk Commons

  • Primary dining location for students set up as buffet
  • NO use of food trays:  Reduced food waste by 17% because students can only take the amount of food that they can carry without a tray
  • Remaining waste is being sent to the biodigester on campus (BD1)
  • Trash compactor at the facility reduces the frequency of waste pick up from collector


  • Blackhawk Commons food service
  • Committed to green initiatives as a food servicing company

  • Cage free shell eggs

  • Organic cheese for the grilled cheese that is served almost daily

  • Cedar Crest Ice Cream, which used to be produced in Oshkosh, is now purchased from Cedarburg, Wisconsin

  • An on-campus bakery is present so that items can be made right on campus

  • Commits to purchasing locally and regionally when feasible

Energy and Water Reduction

  • Water is heated with 24 rooftop solar thermal panels, producing an estimated 1,878 therms

  • With new appliances and sustainable waste techniques, Blackhawk Commons has reduced energy by 20%

  • Constant upgrading of light bulbs to more efficient bulbs

  • Light timers in the building  limit how long lights are left on

  • Plantings are used to shade the building in the summer months and when the leaves shed in the winter more light is let into the building, warming it up

  • Use one of the most energy and water efficient dish machines on the market

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Heating Plant


  • Coal and natural gas plant

  • Plant provides steam to heat the campus buildings with natural gas (methane)

  • Methane is the main fuel source as well as low sulfur coal and pelletized paper

  • Uses diesel fuel in emergency situations

  • Currently four boilers in use at the campus heating plant

    • (Two) 45,000 lb/hr: can burn coal, pelletized paper, and natural gas

    • (One) 25,000 lb/hr: burns natural gas and No. 2 fuel oil in emergencies

    • (One) 100,000 lb/hr : burns natural gas and No. 2 fuel oil in emergencies

  • 16-panel solar thermal systems on top of the building preheats water before being sent to the boiler

  • Steam is then carried through underground piping to campus buildings for heat and hot water generation

  • In building bag-house removes particulates associated with coal burning process

    • Attached chilled water plant provides cooling to most campus buildings in the summer months


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Titan Stadium


  •  Grass football field was replaced with artificial turf that saves around 850,000 gallons of water that would have been previously used for irrigation

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  • All team uniforms are purchased through adidas, a global leader in socially conscious and sustainable business practices


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Albee Hall and Pool

  • Offers fitness classes among open swims hours for staff and students

  • Solar thermal panels on top of roof heat the pool water

  • Lighting was converted to fluorescent fixtures that save around 72,266 kWh/year

  • Each racquet ball court has a timed lighting system and will turn off when not in use


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Reeve Memorial Union

  • Building windows provide natural day lighting all year and solar heat gain in winter

  • Trees shade the area in the summer reducing air conditioning needs

  • Fair Trade coffee, chocolate, handcrafts, and jewelry are sold in Reeve



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