Yale Science Building Sustainability

The Yale Science Building combines state-of-the-art research and cutting-edge sustainable design. Use the information below to ensure optimal energy efficiency and a safe and comfortable work environment.

Staying comfortable

Temperature and humidity in YSB are set for comfort during regular business hours (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.). After hours the temperature and humidity setpoints are set back several degrees to save energy.

Comfort zones in the labs and offices are controlled by sensors that monitor occupancy. If spaces are vacant for more than 10 minutes during regular business hours, comfort levels in that zone are relaxed. Once the space is reoccupied, it automatically resumes occupied temperature settings.

  • Adjust the shades in your space to regulate light and heat gain. 
  • Keep shades up in winter and down in summer to maintain desired temperature setpoints and increase energy savings.
  • If needed, adjust the thermostat for your comfort zone by two degrees (pictured below).

Thermostat User Guide

Inside the lab


Lights in the lab entryway are automatic. To activate laboratory lights, tap the switch on the wall once. Brightness controls adjust to maximize daylighting. Vacancy sensors automatically shut off lights after 10 minutes if no sound or movement is detected. 

Open labs are divided into zones to manage lighting, temperature and air flow. Note the closest thermostat to observe zone settings. A green leaf indicates optimal temperature and lighting settings. 

Light Switch User Guide

Fume hoods

Fume hood sashes should remain closed when not in use. A green leaf on the monitor indicates optimal use and performance (pictured below).

YSB utilizes efficient ventilation systems. Proper fume hood use is important for building energy performance.

Fume Hood User Guide

Personal Safety

Keep laboratory doors closed. Closed doors maintain negative pressure within the labs, regulating ventilation rates and ensuring containment of lab materials.

Purge buttons should only be pressed in case of a chemical spill emergency. Please follow the Purge Button Protocol below:

  1. Hazardous materials spill or release in the lab.
  2. Researchers press purge button which activates the strobe light within the lab and maximizes the supply and exhaust ventilation.
  3. All researchers in the lab safely evacuate lab and close the door.
  4. Researcher contacts EHS Emergency Line (203-785-3555).
  5. EHS responds, cleans the spill, and clears the lab for safe re-entry.
  6. EHS contacts Facilities (203-432-6888) to inform Mechanics that purge mode no longer required. 
  7. If no action is taken, purge mode ends automatically after 2 hours. Building management system automatically turns strobe off and returns lab to normal operating mode.

If purge button is activated accidentally, contact 203-432-6888 to  reset.

Lab recycling


Use blue bins for pipette tip boxes; foil trays; media, serum and saline bottles; plastic; glass (no Pyrex); metal; paper; and paperboard. All containers MUST be triple rinsed and defaced.


Use black bins for Pyrex glassware, plastic coated safety glass, plastic film, Styrofoam, bubble wrap, and paper towels.

Empty chemical bottles that held acids or bases cannot be recycled and should be tripled rinsed and disposed of in the normal trash.

Empty chemical bottles that held P listed, acutely hazardous waste cannot be recycled and must be tagged as hazardous waste and then submit a request for pick up from Environmental Health and Safety.  


Cardboard boxes should be broken down and placed next to recycling bins in the corridors.

Inside the office

  • Save power by choosing Energy Star equipment and turn equipment off when not in use.
  • Request a daytime backup schedule from ITS to allow you to shut down your computer at night.
  • Turn monitors off when you are away from your computer.

Lights dim automatically to maximize natural light. Use the manual switch by the door if you need more lighting.

Common spaces

YSB is designed for interaction. Utilize the many public spaces for collaboration and sharing. 



Use green single stream recycling bins for clean and dry paper, metal, firm plastics, and glass.


Use black trash bins for tissues, paper towels, plastic bags and film, and all other non-recyclable materials.


Break down cardboard prior to recycling. 


Eliminate waste by bringing your own plate, cups and utensils and rinsing them in the kitchenette.


Water bottle filling stations are located throughout the building.

Toilets and urinals use reject water from the reverse osmosis (RO) system and HVAC condensate for flushing. This saves water and reduces waste.

Dual flush toilets use 1.1 or 1.6 gallons per flush. They are sensor activated and can also be flushed manually. Press 1-drop (green button) for small flush and 3-drop (silver button) for large flush.

Move around

Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Enjoy the view

Daylight increases productivity and helps regulate human circadian rhythms. YSB has large windows to provide ample daylight.

Tiny dots visible from outside and horizontal lines on the windows help reduce heat gain and reduce bird strikes.

Sunshades outside help reduce heat and glare in the summer but allow for heat gain and daylighting in winter. Pull shades down on interior windows to control heat and shading (pictured below). 

Sustainable design

Science buildings are responsible for approximately half of campus emissions. YSB has been specially designed with an Energy Use Target 50% lower than the average Yale laboratory.
Every system in the building has been assessed for its impact on energy performance and occupant behavior is critical to success. 

The project is anticipating LEED Gold certification.