School of Law

BU School of Law LEED Gold

While the Law Tower is an iconic historical architectural structure on the BU campus, its usability as a modern educational facility was outmoded by evolving legal education trends. Recognizing that the Law School needed a facility that offered the appropriate space and modern amenities to meet the contemporary requirements of legal education, BU moved forward with this very important project starting in the fall of 2012. An $18 million gift from Sumner M. Redstone—executive chairman of VIACOM and CBS Corporation—made the project possible.  Located to the west of the Law Tower, the 100,000-square-foot, five-story Redstone building houses most of the Law School’s classrooms, which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The new building expands the Pappas Law Library, increases study space, and provides new facilities to support clinical, transactional, and professional training programs. The 18-story Law Tower also underwent a complete renovation and restoration. The design faithfully rehabilitates most of Sert’s original tower while taking deliberate measures within the architect’s design vocabulary to make the existing building more acceptable to the 21st-century needs of its inhabitants. In both the new Redstone Building and the renovated Law Tower, students benefit from additional classrooms, comfortable meeting spaces, and expanded study areas that enhance both their educational and student life experiences.

Highlights of the sustainable design strategies include:

Campus & Sustainable Site Design

  • Sustainable Transportation: The School of Law is located in the heart of BU’s Charles River Campus, just a short walk from a bus line and two subway lines.  96% of BU students use sustainable modes of transportation such as public transit, walking, and biking.
  • Bike Share: Boston’s Hubway program was launched in August 2011 with 61 stations located throughout the city.  Five stations are located on the Charles River Campus.  The School of Law is just a short walk from the nearest Hubway station located on Commonwealth Avenue in front of the College of Arts & Sciences.
  • Stormwater Management: Ground water recharge systems were added under the Redstone Building and nearby BU Beach. These system helps reduce wastewater treatment volume for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and promotes cleanliness of the Charles River basin.


  • Water Efficiency: The School of Law contains main features that help promote water efficiency.  Water-saving features at the School of Law include devices such as low-flow lavatory faucets and kitchen faucets, (GPF) water efficient toilets and urinals, reduction water consumption by 41%.
  • Irrigation Water Use: The landscape features of the at the School of Law use drip irrigation. Unlike a sprinkler system that sprays water across the top of foliage, a drip irrigation system nourishes plants from their roots. This requires 51% less water and allows for targeted applications that eliminate runoff and over-watering plants, which can contribute to mold related diseases.


  • Energy Efficiency:  Based on energy modeling, the addition and renovation together provide energy efficiency of 27.8% over a code-compliant build. The envelope of the existing tower was upgraded with new Windows and Insulation. Beyond the envelope upgrades, the design includes a variety of energy-conservation strategies, including chilled beams, high-efficiency lighting, low pressure-drop HVAC, premium efficiency pumps and fans, among others system. Additionally, energy efficiency strategies employed in Redstone Building include the building envelope and convenient communicating stairs within the building reduce elevator use.
  • Occupancy Sensors:  Occupancy sensors are used in offices, conference rooms, and storage rooms. The sensors interface with the building automation and dimming systems to allow heating, cooling, and lighting to automatically be turned down or off when spaces are not occupied.


  • Building Reuse: The law tower was built in the 1960s. The historic restoration of the tower provided an opportunity to reuse of 99% of the existing structure.
  • Recycled content of materials:  Over 24% of the materials used in the project came from recycled sources. Using recycled materials reduces the unnecessary use of virgin natural resources and generally requires much less processing than new materials. In addition to this, 90% of construction waste was diverted from landfills.
  • Regionally sourced materials:  More than 20% of the materials used were sourced from within 500 miles, minimizing the carbon footprint associated with the transportation of these materials.

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Green Cleaning Program: Boston University has a robust green cleaning program that uses Green Seal and Ecologo certified cleaning products for over 70% of the materials used for cleaning on campus. At the Admissions Reception Center, our custodial staff uses 100% Green Seal and Ecologo certified cleaning products and procedures. Using sustainable products minimizes the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants.
  • Low VOC Materials: Boston University uses low VOC materials in all projects. Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are commonly found in products like paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants and flooring and can be harmful to both human and environmental health. Until recently they were essential to the performance these products.
  • Dedicated Exhaust: Rooms with chemicals or equipment where hazardous gases may be produced are equipped with ventilation systems to remove these indoor air pollutants.

Quick Facts:

Building Area: 269, 000 sq ft
Architects: Bruner/Cott & Associates
General Contractor: Skanska USA
LEED Consultant: Erica Downs
MEP Engineers: Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers, LLC
Structural Engineers: Weidlinger Associates
Landscape Architects: Richard Burck Associates
Geotechnical Engineers: Haley Aldrich