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Kroon Hall, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Landscape Performance Benefits


  • Saves 634,000 gallons of potable water each year by eliminating the need to use potable water for irrigation and, in concert with water-conserving plumbing fixtures, reducing the building’s potable water use by 81%.
  • Treats and retains the first 1 in of rainfall.
  • Treats water to remove 80% of total suspended solids (TSS) for all water discharged to the municipal stormwater system.


  • Serves as a node for social events. Graduation, happy hour, alumni events, and other school activities are commonly scheduled for the courtyard.

At a Glance

  • Designer


  • Project Type


  • Former Land Use


  • Location

    195 Prospect Street
    New Haven, Connecticut 06511
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  • Climate Zone

    Humid continental

  • Size

    3 acres (128,862 sf )

  • Budget

    $33.5 million (building and site)

  • Completion Date


LEED Platinum Kroon Hall is a model for Yale’s ambitious green construction and sustainability goals. The building and two new courtyards reclaim a 3.5-acre greyfield, transforming the site of a decommissioned power plant, parking lot, and patchwork of service roads into a highly visible center for the study of environment on Yale’s Science Hill campus. An innovative rainwater harvesting system features native plants and is built over the roof of a new underground service node, providing dynamic stormwater treatment and greywater recycling.The basin activates the courtyard, connecting landscape to the academic mission in a social learning environment.


Yale required a significant building program for a small urban site and maintains LEED goals for all new campus buildings. The City of New Haven required that all stormwater be treated and mitigated on-site prior to discharge to the City system. Site slopes and the underground building service node limited the potential for infiltration with less than 1 ft of soil depth available on top of the structure.


The green roof built atop the loading docks and utilities incorporates a water feature that is both social amneity and a key part of a rainwater harvesting system. Stormwater is collected, treated, stored and recycled through an interactive pond that uses water-based phytoremediation. Water is used for landscape irrigation or sent to a tank for further treatment for use in the building.

  • The site design locates the building and services to create 2 new plazas and 2 new courtyards. The south courtyard is formed by a 19,000 sf ground-level green roof.
  • The service node beneath the south courtyard centralizes and uses a single driveway for all trash, recycling and delivery traffic for the southwest corner of Science Hill.
  • The first (and dirtiest) inch of stormwater from Kroon’s roof and northern part of the site is collected and channeled to the 16,000-sf phytoremediation pond, where native wetland plants remove nitogren, phosphates and particulates.
  • A 20,000-gallon underground harvesting tank collects and stores pond overflow and additional rainwater, which is recirculated, used for irrigation, or diverted to a 940-gallon “day” tank where it is filtered and disinfected for use in toilets.
  • Water from building foundation pumps provides supplemental water for the greywater resuse system, improving reliability by 50%. This water would otherwise be discharged to the combined sewer system.
  • The landscape uses 25 varieties of plants native to Connecticut.
  • Kroon Hall also features solar panels, geothermal wells, and daylight harvesting.
  • Rainwater harvest systems may need to be supplemented to meet demand for greywater reuse. In this case, water discharged from building foundation pumps provides a make-up source.
  • A “first-flush” device is needed to remove trash, sediment, and other settleable solids from stormwater runoff.
  • Mats of trailing plant roots in a pond can be more effective than soil for cleaning runoff water.

Project Team

Design Architect: Hopkins Architects
Executive Architect: Centerbrook Architects & Planners, LLP
Sustainable Design: Atelier Ten
Landscape Architect: OLIN
Civil Engineer and Storm Water Management: Nitsch Engineering, Inc.
Geothermal Engineers: Haley and Aldrich
Structural, MEP, Fire Protection Engineers: ARUP
Facade Engineering/Thermal Performance: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.
Architectural Lighting and Acoustical Design: ARUP, Specialty Consultants
Materials Handling: SEA Consultants, Inc.
Code Consultant: P.R Sherman, Inc.
Specification Consultant: Kalin Associates
Cost Estimator: Faithful + Gould
Construction Manager: Turner Construction Company

Role of the Landscape Architect

Led the design of an innovative, didactic and social landscape over structure.


Stormwater management, Water conservation, Water quality, Recreational & social value, Bioremediation, Wetland, Rainwater harvesting, Bioretention, Onsite energy generation, Native plants, Greywater reuse, Green roof

The LPS Case Study Briefs are produced by the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), working in conjunction with designers and/or academic research teams to assess performance and document each project. LAF has no involvement in the design, construction, operation, or maintenance of the projects. See the Project Team tab for details. If you have questions or comments on the case study itself, contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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