The University of Vermont was established in 1791 and hence owns and operates many historic buildings, which pose a challenge both for maintenance/preservation and sustainability. Although many of these buildings could be made much more energy efficient, any renovations or upgrades to historic buildings on campus, which are defined as those 50 years and older, must be approved by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.
Despite the historic preservation restrictions, UVM strives to prioritize sustainability both in small upgrades such as lighting and more major construction projects such as rebuilding Old Mill from the inside while leaving its historic shell intact.
In addition, UVM has committed to a standard of LEEDTM Silver minimum for all new construction and major renovation projects on campus. Due to these sustainability efforts, although UVM's greenhouse gas emissions have been slowly increasing every year, the greenhouse gas emissions per square foot of building space has been steadily decreasing at the same time that we have increased both building space and student enrollment.