Why a "green" tour?

This self-guided Green Tour was developed to showcase sites on Penn State's University Park Campus that incorporate LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building principles - hence the name Green Tour. Penn State currently has 12 LEED building projects: 3 LEED Gold; 2 LEED Silver; 2 LEED Certified; and 5 that are pending. There also are 8 LEED future projects planned. Penn State requires that all new and renovated facilities be LEED certified.

What is LEED?

LEED is a rating system for sustainable building development. LEED-certified buildings must meet high standards for indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and water conservation. They must also feature recycled, renewable, or locally-sourced materials. LEED is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders headquartered in Washington, DC. There are four levels of certification: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Certified. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) was established by USGBC and performs the technical reviews and verification of LEED-registered projects to determine if they have met the standards set forth by the LEED rating system

Penn State's LEED policy exceeds national standards.

How to take the tour

You may either take this tour on your desktop or on a mobile device like your smart phone or tablet. There are three options for taking this tour:

  1. (1) You may start on our SITES page, which starts at the Centre County/Penn State Visitor Center, and consecutively follows the sites on our SUGGESTED WALKING ROUTE;
  2. (2) you may select a site from our MAP of sites; or
  3. (3) you many select a site from our GALLERY OF SITES.

How long will the tour take?

The suggested route covers approximately 5 miles and if you leisurely complete the route it should take approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours - this dependis upon your walking pace and how long you visit each site. If you are interested in visiting only selected sites or have limited time, we suggest that you use the CATA buses to travel across campus. There is no fare on campus and they are powered by Compressed Natural Gas. Visitor parking is available in parking garages for longer-term parking and in metered lots for shorter-term parking.

More about Penn State's sustainability initiatives

From global recognition for our research efforts to award-winning sustainability-focused outreach activities to our exemplary resource-efficient operations, Penn State has long been a leader in sustainability in teaching, research and service. Our efforts to save energy, reduce waste, create innovative new programs, and improve quality have had a profound impact on our campuses and have served as models for other universities.

For more information about Penn State's sustainability initatives, please visit the Sustainability Institute. For more information about Penn State's energy and environmental research activities, please visit the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment.