To the Editor:

I was interested to read your front page article Friday about the new building for the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (“Forestry halfway to financial goal,” 10/26).

I applaud the school’s commitment to building Yale’s “first green building” as part of its renovation project.

But the need for sustainable, energy-efficient buildings is not limited to those that house schools teaching studies on the environment.

Yale buildings are inefficient and wildly overheated; here at the Divinity School, for example, the heat was still on when temperatures hit 80 degrees on Thursday. The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which must be climate-controlled for the sake of its collections, simply hemorrhages energy through its uninsulated marble walls.

If Yale has incorporated “green” into its recent wave of renovations, it would be nice for the community to know about them. If not, it seems very irresponsible for an institution that can well afford to be in the vanguard of environmentally responsible technology not to implement that technology where it has the opportunity.

Has Yale considered transitioning from conventional power to green power? For it to do so would send a powerful message to other institutions, in addition to removing thousands of tons of greenhouse gases per year from the atmosphere.

Green power is slightly more expensive, but Yale could easily account for that extra money by wasting less energy on heating its buildings to a semitropical temperature.

The forestry school has set a fine example; it is up to the rest of the University to follow.

Grace Pritchard DIV ’04

October 26, 2001