Stanford Business School breaks ground on LEED Platinum campus

The Stanford Graduate School of Business formally broke ground on its new business school campus Sept. 10 that will seek LEED Platinum certification.

Stanford, Calif. — The Stanford Graduate School of Business formally broke ground on its new business school campus Sept. 10 that will seek LEED Platinum certification. Designed to fulfill the academic needs of the school's new MBA curriculum and other programs for the 21st century, the 360,000-sq.ft. campus will comprise eight buildings around three quadrangles and will be named the Knight Management Center.

“Leading universities of the 21st century need business schools that foster extraordinary intellectual innovation and collaboration,” said Robert L. Joss, the Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “This new campus provides the physical infrastructure to enable that academic vision to come to life at Stanford.”

The construction of the Knight Management Center campus leverages Stanford President John L. Hennessy's call for the University to be a force for change on issues of global importance, especially regarding the environment.

“One of the biggest global challenges facing us today is the sustainable use of our planet's natural resources,” said Hennessy. “The Graduate School of Business will play a key role in helping us address these challenges by leading the way in its sustainable development of this new campus. And in the long term, it is the creation of economic incentives and alignments between business and society that will have the greatest impact in addressing our environmental challenges. I have no doubt that this new campus and the Business School's new MBA curriculum will enrich the learning of future generations of students who will lead the way in problem solving.”

Built to demonstrate maximum leadership in environmental sustainability, the new campus architecture will blend indoor and outdoor spaces, and utilize solar technology to reduce energy needs. The project aims to:

  • Reduce overall water usage by at least 30%.

  • Exceed current energy efficiency standards by at least 40%.

  • Use rainwater or re-circulated gray water to reduce potable water use for building sewage conveyance by 80%.

  • Recycle or salvage 50% to 75% of non-hazardous construction debris.

  • Use low- or non-volatile organic compound-emitting materials to ensure exceptional indoor air quality.

  • Satisfy not only the University's Guidelines for Sustainable Building, but seek Platinum Certification, the highest level in the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating certification system.

“Living smart means that the building has a social responsibility that can manifest itself in a concern for the future in terms of the resources that are used and the resources that are consumed by the building,” said Principal Architect Stan Boles of BOORA Architects, the Portland, Ore.-based executive architect on the project. “For example, the orientation of the buildings is narrow in the north-south dimension,” said Boles. “They are designed for optimum daylighting, ventilation and for shading of one another. The exterior walls are designed so that areas of glass are created but shaded by exterior screens to prevent excessive heat gain.”

BOORA Architects is involved in a number of Stanford University projects including the environmentally sustainable Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building that opened in 2008. Turner Construction is building the campus.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, Nike Inc. founder and chairman Philip H. Knight, MBA '62, for whom the new campus is named, pressed his feet — clad, of course, in a pair of black Nike Air Max 360s — into concrete.

“It is fitting that the new campus be named for Phil Knight, who is one of the great innovators and entrepreneurs in American business,” said Joss. “He created not just a company but an industry. His generosity, and that of our other alumni, allows the Stanford Graduate School of Business to lead the way and set new standards.”

Knight was an early lead donor with a gift of $105 million — believed to be the largest gift ever to a business school. The campus is expected to cost at least $350 million by completion in 2011.

“My hope is that this new campus will enable future generations of students to have the life-changing experience I had at Stanford Business School,” said Knight. “If there was no Stanford Graduate School of Business, there would be no Nike. The idea for a business really never took form until I took that small business management course. It was out of that I had the encouragement and enthusiasm to start Nike.”

The campus will include a 600-seat lecture hall, dining facilities, an underground parking structure for 900 vehicles, and space for career management and executive education programs. It also will offer classrooms for hands-on learning or virtual communication linking students from other schools at Stanford or around the globe, as well as faculty and staff offices.

The Knight Management Center comprises a series of small buildings situated around “outdoor rooms” — Town Square, Faculty Courtyard, Community Court, Amphitheater, and Academic Walk — which will provide opportunities for teams to collaborate and work. The central Town Square has been designed as a gathering place for students, faculty, and staff.

The Knight Management Center will comprise about 100,000 more square feet than the current campus. Business School buildings now in use will be returned to the university for other uses.

Additional information is available at www.gsb.stanford.edu/knightcenter/.