The East Campus Project, a proposed new 450,000-square-foot building complex at MIT,  is nearing the end of the “Conceptual Design” phase and transitioning to the “Schematic Design” phase.  Many critical environmental, health and safety, and cultural decisions are made during these phases.  Leading decision-makers for the East Campus Project at MIT expressed the desire to gather non-monetary information for design alternatives to help make better-informed sustainable building decisions.  This “consulting” project, completed as part of the course requirements for 11.369 “Industrial Ecology and Life Cycle Assessment,” will provide MIT decision makers with a framework to gather and assess sustainability-based information for design alternatives.  Using the framework, four case studies of relevant design decisions facing the East Campus Project team are analyzed and presented.  In short, the project goals are two-fold:

1. Present a transparent, multi- purpose design assessment framework for the consideration of environmental, health and safety, and cultural aspects of decisions.
2. Present case studies for assessments of several pending decisions using the proposed assessment framework supported by environmental life-cycle assessment (LCA) and other literature research.  Make limited recommendations based on these case studies.

The selection of case studies is based on Ove Arup & Partners “Sustainable Design Shopping List” for the East Campus Project, discussion with John Rivers of the MIT Facilities Department and Chris Schaffner of Ove Arup, and project team members’ interests and specializations.


This multi-phased 450,000-square-foot complex will create a vibrant new community for the study of management and economics at MIT. The East Campus Project will integrate facilities for the MIT Sloan School of Management, the MIT Economics department (part of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) and the Dewey Library. In the spirit of architect William Welles Bosworth's turn-of-the-century vision for the MIT campus, the complex will include a dramatic grassy park overlooking the Charles River that will be ringed by cafes and other social spaces in the surrounding buildings.

On a triangular site bounded by Wadsworth Street, Main Street, and Memorial Drive, the East Campus Project will realize many long-held goals for the community it will serve. The complex will bring the Sloan School faculty together under one roof for the first time and unite them with their colleagues in the Economics department. The project will also create a "heart" for the school of management by providing community, social, and work spaces that promote collaboration and integrate the academic infrastructure more fully into the lives of the students.

The highly skilled project team, including design architect Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners and Sasaki Associates, is now in the master-planning and concept design phase, focusing on needs assessment, site analysis, and concept development. Working closely with MIT's Green Building Task Force, the team is committed to making the East Campus Project a model for environmentally responsible construction with the strategic use of recycled materials and sustainable technology.