The Top 15 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Buildings in New Jersey

A collage of photographs showing 4 of the Top 15 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Buildings in New Jersey. Across the top are the words "The Top 15 Eco-Friendly Sustainable Buildings in New Jersey." In the center is a green map of New Jersey.

Images courtesy of Nicholson Corporation, Payette, Dow Jones & Company, Inc, and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

The green building trend has been gaining traction in recent years as people look for ways to mitigate the environmental effects of the construction industry.

Most U.S. states, including New Jersey, are shifting toward environmentally friendly construction to reduce climate change. Consequently, there are many eco-friendly, sustainable buildings in New Jersey to inspire you.

Eco-friendly construction entails using resource-efficient processes and materials throughout the structure’s life cycle. It promotes energy and water efficiency, low carbon footprints, minimizes waste production, and encourages better waste management practices.

Besides conserving non-renewable resources for future generations, these approaches keep building occupants healthy and comfortable.

In this article, I’ll discuss the top 15 eco-friendly, sustainable buildings I’ve discovered in New Jersey. I’ll discuss the features that make each building sustainable to help inspire your next project. Keep reading!

1. LG North American Headquarters

A photograph of the LG North American Headquarters.
A photograph of the LG North American Headquarters. Image courtesy of Nicholson Corporation.

LG’s North American Headquarters is one of the most eco-friendly sustainable buildings in New Jersey due to its emphasis on ecosystem enhancement.

The building promotes a cooler microclimate through its green roofs and site vegetation. It also features a unique design below the tree canopy to prevent it from interfering with bird migratory paths.

The building uses 100% renewable energy from its solar panels and wind turbines. These sources of green energy contribute significantly to the company’s reduction in its carbon footprint. For instance, it achieved a 40% carbon neutrality and 50% emission reduction during the production phase in 2021.

The building earned a LEED v2009 Platinum certification in 2020 due to its energy efficiency and use of renewable energy.

The 350,000-square-foot (32,500-square-meter) building boasts a retention pond for collecting stormwater to reduce site run-off.

Finally, it uses landscaping lighting to minimize its visual impact. Therefore, it doesn’t interfere with local habitats and ecosystems.

2. Princeton University’s Frick Chemistry Laboratory

A photograph of the Princeton University's Frick Chemistry Laboratory.
A photograph of the Princeton University’s Frick Chemistry Laboratory. Image courtesy of Payette.

This is one of the most sustainable buildings at Princeton University.

Frick Chemistry Laboratory was opened in 2010 as a faculty research center. It boasts 30% energy savings over a code-compliant baseline structure.

The main features that make this building sustainable include:

  • A sky-lit atrium: The atrium provides a light-filled space for visibility without relying on artificial lighting. It’s one of the reasons the building saves more energy compared to the state’s baseline.
  • Bicycle spots: The building has bicycle parking lots to encourage cycling, which help reduce carbon emissions from cars.
  • High-efficiency hoods: The hoods have automatic sash closer and occupancy sensors for energy efficiency.
  • A chilled-beam cooling system cools the indoors by creating convective air currents using passive chilled beams. The system conserves energy by eliminating the need for a fan.
  • Solar energy: The building has 216 rooftop photovoltaic panels that generate enough energy to supplement mains electricity.
  • Energy efficient lighting using LED fixtures, motion sensors, and daylight harvesting systems to reduce energy use.

3. Verisk Headquarters

A photograph of the Verisk Headquarters.
A photograph of the Verisk Headquarters. Image courtesy of Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Located at 545 Washington Boulevard, The Verisk company’s headquarters underwent extensive renovation to make it more eco-friendly.

It was after the renovation that the building became LEED-Gold certified. It was certified under the LEED v2009’s Commercial Interior rating with a scorecard of 60 points.

The 250,000-square-foot (23,000-square-meter) skyscraper incorporates motion detection systems for lighting. The system helps save energy by switching the lights on and off, depending on occupancy.

Other features contributing to the building’s sustainability include:

  • Daylight-harvesting LED lighting: This state-of-the-art technology uses photosensors to monitor the level of natural lighting. It then adjusts the LED lights’ output automatically to conserve energy.
  • Water efficiency: The building has water-efficient fixtures that reduce water consumption.
  • Energy-efficient appliances: Appliances used in this building are ENERGY-STAR certified. Therefore, they use less energy than conventional appliances.

Finally, the recalibration and recommissioning of the HVAC system made it more energy-efficient, contributing to the building’s energy efficiency measures.

4. Rutgers University’s Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering

A photograph of Rutgers University's Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering.
A photograph of Rutgers University’s Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering. Image courtesy of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering at Rutgers University boasts some of the most eco-friendly features of any building in the education sector.

The 100,000-square-foot (9,300-square-meter) facility features smart classrooms, collaborative workspaces, student spaces, and engineering learning laboratories.

It’s LEED Silver-certified due to its modern features that enhance water and energy efficiency.

One of its sustainability features is fostering Development Density and Community Connectivity. Its location, closer to busing services, encourages public transportation to lower carbon emissions from personal cars.

Moreover, the building has bicycle storage and charging rooms to encourage cycling instead of using cars. This is an effective way to reduce its occupants’ carbon footprint.

Other sustainable building features include:

  • Water efficiency: It incorporates water-efficient landscaping practices like native plants to minimize the need for irrigation. Its wastewater management system is also efficient and is the reason for the building’s 30% reduction in water consumption.
  • Energy conservation: The hall uses 18% less energy than other buildings in the university due to its advanced refrigerant management and efficient systems.
  • Waste management: The hall’s construction diverted 75% of the waste from landfills through recycling. Ten percent of the hall is built with recycled materials.
  • Indoor environmental quality: The construction used low-emitting materials, paints, and carpets to minimize their impact on indoor air quality. The building also has operable natural ventilation windows that reduce energy consumption.

5. Rowan University’s Holly Pointe Commons

A photograph of Rowan University's Holly Pointe Commons.
A photograph of Rowan University’s Holly Pointe Commons. Image courtesy of Zonda Media, a Delaware corporation.

Holly Pointe Commons is a residence hall at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey.

The hall features a Serpentine-shaped design that provides natural daylighting and ventilation. Therefore, students don’t rely fully on the heating and cooling system, conserving more energy.

The hall has large windows to make the most of natural light and ventilation. They have a polyamide thermal barrier within their 2.5-inch (6.35 cm) aluminum framing to enhance energy efficiency. The aluminum used to make these windows also came from recycled aluminum billet, saving more natural resources.

All aluminum products used in this building rely on thermal improvement services from Linetec. These services include dual-color finishes and silver coating on the exterior. Such tactics minimize solar heat gain while maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures.

The building also features energy-efficient lighting, thermostats, and appliances to save electricity.

Finally, the hall’s HVAC systems adhere to the university’s sustainability plan that requires all new buildings to have high-efficiency air conditioning systems.

6. Chubb Whitehouse Station Building A

A photograph of the Chubb Whitehouse Station Building A.
A photograph of the Chubb Whitehouse Station Building A. Image courtesy of Chubb.

Chubb is dedicated to enhancing the environmental performance of its offices to meet sustainable construction standards. As such, it has continually improved its Whitehouse Station Building A to create a more eco-friendly environment.

The office achieved its LEED Gold v4 certification for existing buildings in 2020, serving as a testament to its energy efficiency.

With a scorecard of 70 points, the building is certified under LEED v2009’s Existing Building Operations and Maintenance rating.

It has energy-efficient lighting systems that use smart sensors to conserve energy. These sensors detect occupancy and turn the lights on or off accordingly, reducing energy use significantly. Additionally, the building only uses energy-efficient LED bulbs to conserve more energy.

Finally, Chubb Whitehouse Station Building A is designed to facilitate alternative employee commuting methods like using bicycles. A bike storage and repair station was installed to encourage cycling as a form of transportation.

It’s also close to public transit services like buses and trains to limit car usage, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

7. Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts

A photograph of the Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts.
A photograph of the Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts. Image courtesy of VHB®, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.

Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University is among the most eco-friendly sustainable buildings in New Jersey. It has energy-efficient features and sustainable materials that reduce its environmental impact.

The 139,000-square-foot (12,900-square-meter) building houses teaching and performance spaces for programs in the Dance and Theatre Departments. It was built with a focus on energy efficiency to attain LEED certification.

The Lewis Center for the Arts is among the buildings that meet Princeton University’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint. It achieves this through the following sustainable construction features:

  • Geothermal heating and cooling: The center has a geothermal heating and cooling system that uses the earth’s energy to regulate indoor temperatures. This reduces dependence on electricity and natural gas for heating and cooling, saving more energy.
  • Green roof: The roof provides additional insulation to keep the indoors warm in winter and cool in the summer. This natural heating and cooling technique conserves energy by reducing the demand for central heating and cooling. Moreover, the green roof reduces the heat island effect, contributing to a more comfortable environment overall.
  • Radiant heating and cooling: The center has floors fitted with radiant heating and cooling systems. The system is more efficient than traditional air conditioning because it delivers or receives heat directly to or from the occupants and building contents instead of circulating it in the entire room. It also conserves more energy based on The First Law of Thermodynamics because it operates based on thermal radiation.
  • Passive design strategies: The center is designed to maximize natural lighting and ventilation, and the building has thick walls that increase its thermal mass to facilitate heat retention.

8. Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

A photograph of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.
A photograph of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. Image courtesy of Sciame Construction, LLC.

Located at Princeton University, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment supports vibrant and expanding research programs focusing on:

  • Sustainable energy development
  • Environmental protection
  • Environment remediation
  • Energy conservation

Although the center was founded in 2008, its construction was completed in 2015, illustrating a diverse range of eco-friendly features. These features include:

  • A geo-exchange system: This system aligns with Princeton University’s carbon dioxide emission reduction strategies. It captures and stores heat for reuse to avoid energy-intensive cooling towers.
  • Rain gardens: The building has rain gardens that collect stormwater for reuse. This reduces the amount of runoff entering drains, mitigating flooding and limiting pollution in rivers and streams.
  • Green roof: It features a green roof designed with native plants and grasses that sequester carbon dioxide. Also, the roof provides additional insulation, making the center more eco-friendly.
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures: These fixtures enhance water efficiency by reducing water usage in toilets, showers, and washing machines. Besides reducing water consumption, they reduce the energy used to heat and cool water, saving more resources.
  • Advanced lighting controls: The center also has smart lighting controls that reduce energy usage. These controls can dim the lights when there is enough natural illumination or turn them off if the space is unoccupied.

9. Firestone Library

A photograph of the Firestone Library.
A photograph of the Firestone Library. Image courtesy of Society for College and University Planning.

The Firestone Library at Princeton University is among the few libraries in New Jersey that meet the requirements for eco-friendly building.

The 400,000-square-foot (37,000-square-meter) facility underwent renovation in 2019 to enhance its sustainability.

The renovation works incorporated the following features that make the library eco-friendly:

  • Intelligent lighting systems: Smart lighting systems illuminate only the bookshelves of interest. The lights also dim whenever there is no activity within the bookshelves to save energy.
  • A chilled beam cooling system: This system uses water and a convection system instead of electricity for cooling. The approach translates to low carbon emissions and energy savings.
  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures: The library’s washrooms have low-flow plumbing fixtures. These fixtures reduce water consumption and conserve the energy used to heat or cool the water.
  • Energy-efficient HVAC system: The library has an energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. This system cycles the air in the building more efficiently, regulating its temperature while using less energy.
  • Healthier finishes and materials: The library also uses healthier materials and finishes. These include low-VOC paints, carpets, and sealants that don’t emit hazardous gases into the air.

10. Chubb Whitehouse Station Building B

A photograph of the Chubb Whitehouse Station Building B.
A photograph of the Chubb Whitehouse Station Building B. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

This is a sustainable office building in Whitehouse Station owned by Chubb Insurance. The facility demonstrates how green buildings can be both economical and efficient.

The 190,000-square-foot (18,000-square-meter) building is LEED v4 Gold-certified under the Existing Building rating.

Its scorecard of 62 points demonstrates high energy efficiency through practices like LED lighting.

Surrounding the building is an artificial wetland with wildlife and local vegetation. The wetland helps reduce runoff, improve air quality, and manages stormwater.

Chubb Whitehouse Station Building B also uses low-flow plumbing fixtures in toilets to conserve water.

Other sustainable aspects of this building include:

  • It uses environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.
  • It incorporates composting to reduce pollution.
  • A LEED Dynamic Plaque that allows tenants to monitor the building’s energy use.

11. Triad 1828 Center

A photograph of the Triad 1828 Center.
A photograph of the Triad 1828 Center. Image courtesy of Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design Inc.

Located in Camden, New Jersey, Triad 1828 Center is an 18-story office tower with a 7-story parking deck.

The building provides its occupants with a healthy and sustainable environment by using safer materials free of VOCs.

It received LEED silver certification for new buildings under LEED v4 in 2020 with a scorecard of 52 points.

The building’s location close to quality transit services like train and bus terminus contributes immensely to its sustainability. These services encourage the use of public transportation to reduce carbon emissions from cars.

Moreover, it has bicycle parking facilities and electric vehicle charging ports to facilitate alternative, safer transportation.

It also has a stormwater management system that collects, purifies, and stores rainwater for landscaping. This reduces pressure on municipal water sources. It’s also fitted with low-flow plumbing fixtures that make it more water-efficient.

Regarding energy conservation, the structure has rooftop solar panels that generate enough power to supplement mains electricity.

12. Newport Tower

A photograph of the Newport Tower.
A photograph of the Newport Tower. Image courtesy of Newport Tower.

Located at 525 Washington Boulevard, Newport Tower is the seventh-tallest building in Jersey City.

The 37-floor, 531-foot (162-meter)-tall building was built in 1993 and renovated between 2005 and 2010 to meet sustainable building standards.

The 1.1 million-square-foot (103,000-square-meter) building received LEED Gold certification in 2011 for its energy efficiency measures. It was recertified in 2016 due to its vast sustainable amenities and resource conservation.

During its renovation, the building’s management invested in energy-efficient upgrades like LED lighting and smart controls.

It also incorporated water conservation techniques like installing low flow plumbing fixtures.

13. EarthCam Headquarters

A photograph of the EarthCam Headquarters.
A photograph of the EarthCam Headquarters. Image courtesy of Building Design+Construction.

EarthCam Headquarters is one of the top eco-friendly sustainable buildings in New Jersey due to its use of reclaimed building materials.

The 11,474-square-foot (1,066-square-meter) structure was originally built in 1985. However, it underwent renovations in 2020 to make it more eco-friendly. Consequently, it became LEED-certified the same year under LEED v2009 for Commercial Buildings with 43 points.

The building has over 5,000 square feet (460 square meters) of translucent aluminum panels made from recycled material. The panels reflect light during the day to keep the indoors cool, acting as daytime sunshields to lower the demand for artificial ventilation.

The building also has over 3,500 customized LED lights that help to conserve energy.

The facility’s bike trails encourage people to use bicycles as an alternative mode of transport to reduce emissions from cars.

14. Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. Project

A photograph of the Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. Project.
A photograph of the Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. Project. Image courtesy of New Jersey Business Magazine.

This LEED Gold-certified project was designed to meet the critical areas of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Its plan focuses on three primary goals:

  • Healthy planet
  • Thriving people
  • Nourishing wellbeing

The healthy planet goal focuses on climate action, land use, and water stewardship. It achieves this by using renewable wind energy and energy-efficient appliances. Also, it incorporates recycling and reuse, an initiative that has made it possible to minimize the amount of waste sent to landfills.

The facility’s management approaches climate action by reducing total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It aims to reduce GHG emissions by 27 percent by 2025 by investing in renewable electricity to lower its carbon footprint.

15. J&J MD&D Bridgewater

A photograph of the J&J MD&D Bridgewater.
A photograph of the J&J MD&D Bridgewater. Image courtesy of Google Maps.

Located in Bridgewater, the 129,300-square-foot (12,000-square-meter) facility is LEED Gold-certified under LEED v4.1 for Existing Buildings. It was certified in 2020 with 64 points.

The structure’s management, Johnson and Johnson, has long advocated green building initiatives. Its focus on energy conservation was the main reason for LEED certification.

From smart lighting technology based on occupancy sensors to energy-efficient LED bulbs, the management has invested in significant energy conservation initiatives to reduce the building’s carbon footprint.

Final Thoughts On Sustainable Buildings in New Jersey

These are our picks for the top 15 eco-friendly sustainable buildings in New Jersey, which we hope will inspire you to be part of the green building agenda.

You don’t have to implement all the strategies used in these projects. Choose an idea that works for you, such as a water or energy-saving strategy, and apply it to your next project.

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