Once Drab and Outdated, U. of Vermont Building Is Now a Sustainability Showcase

Once Dismal, U. of Vermont Building Is Now a Sustainability Showcase 1

Sally McCay, University of Vermont

Renovated for much less than what new construction would have cost, the Aiken Center is 65 percent more energy efficient today and houses the U. of Vermont's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.

Colleges across the country have hundreds, maybe thousands, of buildings as tired as the old George D. Aiken Center, a drab, 40,000-square-foot structure from 1982. Clad in brick, it had worn-out mechanical systems, few windows, and even less insulation.

Buildings like this are now reaching an age where colleges must make critical choices: Should the structures be wiped off campuses and forgotten, their sites given over to glassy, glitzy replacements? Or is it possible to dress up the