Center for Computing & Data Sciences

The largest fossil fuel-free building in Boston

At 19 stories, this LEED Platinum and award-winning iconic building—housing the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, the Mathematics & Statistics Department, Computer Science program, BU Spark! and the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering—is the largest fossil-fuel-free building in Boston, relying on deep wells to harness the thermal capacity of the earth for heating and cooling and eliminate the need to connect the building to a gas line.

Tour the Center for Computing & Data Sciences Virtually

Join BU leadership and the project development team as they take you on an interactive tour of the building's key sustainability elements.


Fossil Fuel-Free and Carbon-Free

  • There are no gas lines connected to the building.
  • Electricity matched from BU Wind and BU Solar provides the building’s total electricity demand. Utilizing renewables for electricity and no fossil fuel use makes the building carbon-free.

Energy Efficiency

  • The building's design minimizes energy consumption using energy-efficient strategies such as external sun shading devices, triple glazing on the windows, enhanced heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and dedicated outside air heat recovery systems.
  • With 31 boreholes, each 1,500 feet deep, the heating and cooling system is expected to provide over 300 tons of heating/cooling capacity. Heat pumps use the temperature differential the earth provides to draw heat from the ground in the winter and to expel heat in the summer.
  • Energy recovery devices, like the heat recovery wheels used in this building, transfer outgoing thermal energy to the incoming outdoor air without mixing the actual air. These “dedicated outdoor air systems'' also dehumidify the moisture content of outside air, thus making the distributed air more comfortable.
  • Exterior louvers and reflective vertical sawtooth elements provide shade to keep the Sun’s heat out during the summer. Triple-glazed windows keep the heat in the building during the winter and out of the building during the summer.

Reduced Embodied Carbon

  • Concrete mix and cure times were extended to reduce cement content, which resulted in a 6% reduction in embodied carbon.

Green Roofs

  • Eight green roofs provide outdoor space for building occupants to spend time outside, capture rainwater, and help reduce the urban heat island effect.


665 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Total Building Area: 345,000 sq ft

Architects: KPMB Architects

MEP Engineers: BR+A

LEED: The Green Engineer

Climate Engineers: Transsolar

Geothermal Engineers: Haley & Aldrich

Geotechnical Engineers: Haley & Aldrich

Structural: LeMessurier and Entuitive

Civil: Nitsch Engineering

Landscape: Richard Burck Associates

General Contractor: Suffolk Construction

Geothermal Contractor: Skillings & Sons

Project Manager: Compass

Building Envelope: Entuitive

Lighting: DotDash

Building Performance Modeling & Analysis: RWDI

Building Commissioning: WSP

Specifications: Brian Ballentyne Specifications

Acoustics & Audio Visual: Acentech

Façade Maintenance: Lerch Bates

Transportation Engineering: AECOM

Cost Estimating: Turner & Townsend


BU Solar: Solect Energy

Visit Campus Planning & Operations to learn more.

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