Oberlin College


Master Plan for a net-zero water, net-zero energy, and net-zero nutrient district.


Oberlin, Ohio

Service Line

Project Highlights

  • Oberlin was one of 18 projects selected to participate in the Clinton Climate Initiative and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Climate Positive Development Program.
  • The plan sets the path for ongoing work to unite the community and the college.

Oberlin College is a national leader in environmental sciences and the arts. ECT worked with Oberlin College to develop a first-of-its-kind, net-zero water, net-zero energy, and net-zero nutrient district. The Green Arts District will build upon the College’s existing theater, arts, and hospitality facilities. Its development will position Oberlin College as a national destination for art and culture, while setting new standards for sustainable urban development.

Led by BNIM, the multidisciplinary design team developed a master plan to guide the evolution of the district. The team also developed a rating system with specific guidelines and metrics in the areas of

  • water
  • human health/well-being
  • energy
  • food
  • local economy
  • natural habitats & ecology
  • operations
  • waste
  • transportation
  • architecture & construction