Achieving a Balance Between Expansion and Cost Control: Yale University West Campus

Christopher Incarvito, Yale University - West Campus

West Campus, Yale University's massive research-heavy expansion project, affords an excellent opportunity to address multiple elements of sustainability in singular projects. Indeed, the centralized nature of the campus' administration allows for consolidation of financial and space resources in one office with coordinative control of faculty recruitment and start-up, capital renovations, and other drivers of development.

In alignment with broader Yale initiatives, such as the Yale Sustainability Plan 2025 and the Yale Carbon Charge Project, West Campus strives to implement energy savings measures at every stage of expansion. In particular, we have developed a model that integrates two key upstream planning elements whose synergistic deployment results in reduced energy costs and more efficient use of laboratory space. Those elements are i) an energy efficient laboratory renovation designs and ii) the leveraging of faculty recruitment to enhance and improve Core (shared) laboratory resources.

This integrated model will be demonstrated by case studies from the Yale Energy Sciences Institute (ESI), a new multi-disciplinary research institute on West Campus that occupies a recently renovated (LEED Platinum) mixed use building while being programmatically grown via faculty recruitment. Specifically it will be shown that by coordinating all elements of programmatic operations, ESI's per capita energy use is lower relative to traditional university departmental models. Furthermore it will be shown that the strategic purchase and deployment of capital equipment results in less technology redundancy, greater opportunities for sharing, more efficient use of reclaimed laboratory space, and greater distribution of central funding, all of which have a profound decrease in operational costs and per capita energy consumption.

Data from building utility meters, along with capital and operation funding reports, will support these hypotheses.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss and compare strategies for enhanced sharing of laboratory equipment
  • Utilize space allocation as both a faculty recruitment element and opportunity for reduced energy footprints
  • Review the role capital equipment acquisition can play in reducing technology redundancy
  • Understand how to prioritize energy and capital reduction in non-standard campus development scenarios


Dr. Incarvito has served as Director of Research Operations and Technology at Yale's West Campus since 2011. In this role he leads development of research, faculty recruitment, campus expansion, sustainability, and has oversight for communications. He is responsible for the quality and creation of new research programming and facilities through collaborative work with university leadership, and manages strategic capital investments in high-value shared research instrumentation.


Note: I2SL did not edit or revise abstract or biography text. Abstracts and biographies are displayed as submitted by the author(s).