Green Roof on the Johnson Center

Conservation & Sustainability

With a dedication to eco-friendly living on Belmont’s campus, you'll be doing your part to help the environment and you can take pride in knowing your school is leading the way in sustainability practices.

Belmont's Bear Creek
Bear Creek Park

Making the world a better place starts with sustainability

At Belmont University, sustainability is more than a buzzword. We take it seriously, living out our commitment to care for God's creation in stewardship to the planet and its inhabitants.

Our campus, designated as an Arboretum and USA Tree Campus, serves as an arboretum of natural beauty, with more than 100 species of trees and shrubs, while we practice water-conscious irrigation policies. We are also proud to build and maintain green roofs, construct new buildings that meet LEED-certified sustainability standards, and implement geothermal systems for efficient heating and cooling. By doing so, we are taking up the mantle of sustainability through what we call the Conservation Covenant: a covenant to steward our environment responsibly and protect it for future generations.

Conservation Covenant Initiatives

Belmont University has taken sustainability to the next level with its Conservation Covenant initiatives. The University achieved Platinum LEED certification for the Janet Ayers Academic Center, becoming the first in Tennessee and first in Nashville to reach this highest rating. Additionally, both the Baskin and Johnson Centers were awarded Gold LEED certification. 

To further encourage sustainability, Belmont has implemented free charging stations available in parking garages, bike racks across campus and a car-sharing system – signaling that sustainability is more than just energy efficient buildings. 

The University has also partnered with Metro Transit Authority (MTA) to provide students, faculty and staff with free public transportation both to and from Belmont. 

Recycling efforts have been intensified with labeled receptacles for paper products, plastic, aluminum and glass plus designated sites for battery disposal and shredded documents. 

Additionally, composting systems have been installed to convert food waste into soil additives, as well as a geothermal heating and cooling system under the Johnson Center utilizing the natural temperature of Earth's core. 

Interactive irrigation systems have been installed that use run-off rainwater underground tanks alongside current weather data to dictate water use requirements. In addition, dynamic electricity meters have been installed in all dorms in order to properly track energy usage, while hybrid cars have now been adopted by campus officers for their patrols. Other sustainability features include recycled building materials whenever possible, natural lighting among various buildings due to light harvesting technology, as well as six green roofs across campus that serve a fun educational purpose for students while also proving beneficial for the environment.

With a partnership with Blessed Earth and the hosting of sustainability events, slow food education and conversations about eco-friendly living on campus, Belmont is leading the way in green practices. 

Finally, the Graduation Pledge Alliance provides students with a promise to consider the environmental impacts of their future employment choices. The university has worked diligently to promote sustainability as part of its identity—something that all can celebrate!

Students and Staff member holding a Tree Campus USA sign

At A Glance

  • Designated as an Arboretum and USA Tree Campus
  • New buildings meet LEED-certified sustainability standards
  • Free charging stations in parking garages
  • Free access to public transportation
  • Composting and recycling practices
  • Green roofs and geothermal heating and cooling system
  • Water-conscious irrigation policies

Sustainable Buildings

Ayers Academic CenterThe Janet Ayers Academic Center, home to Belmont’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of Sciences and Mathematics and College of Theology and Christian Ministry, was designed and constructed using sustainable practices to help reduce its environmental impact. The building is Platinum LEED certified, making Belmont the first University in Tennessee and the first LEED for New Construction project in Nashville to achieve that level, the highest in the feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings for satisfying specific green building criteria.

The Center's sustainable features include

  • An underground parking garage to reduce the urban heat island effect and preserve green space
  • Charging stations and parking spaces for car/van pool and fuel efficient and low emitting vehicles
  • Educational and sustainable green roofs
  • High-efficiency plumbing fixtures to optimize water savings at an expected rate of 66,000 gallons each year
  • Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that drastically reduce energy usage
  • An active chilled beam system that reduces heating and cooling energy and is one of the only HVAC systems of its kind in Nashville
  • More than 75 percent of the waste generated during construction was recycled, diverting more than 900 tons of waste from local landfills
  • An irrigation system that collects water run-off in underground tanks, comparable in size to Olympic size swimming pools, that is reused for irrigation and water feature purposes

Randall & Sadie Baskin CenterThe Gold LEED Certified Baskin Center, a $32 million building, houses the College of Law and features a furnished trail courtroom with state-of-the-art AV equipment, a two-story law library, more than a dozen classrooms, an appellate courtroom and a Grand Lobby Rotunda area. According to information provided by the U.S. Green Building Council, the Baskin Center is the largest LEED certified university academic building in Middle Tennessee and the first LEED certified law school building in the state.

The Center's sustainable features include:

  • An underground parking garage to reduce the urban heat island effect and preserve green space
  • Charging stations and parking spaces for car/van pool and fuel efficient and low emitting vehicles
  • High-efficiency plumbing fixtures, a drip irrigation system and moisture sensing devices to optimize water savings at an expected rate of 165,000 gallons each year

Dickens HallIn 2011 Belmont built Dickens Hall, a 295-bed residence hall and 560-car parking garage in the Bruin Hills Apartment area, as part of a continuing effort to provide on-campus living experiences for students. 

The Hall's sustainable features include:

  • A variable flow refrigerant HVAC system
  • Generous day lighting to reduce energy costs
  • Motion sensors on residence room lighting
  • Energy-efficient lighting and appliances

Fisher Center for the Performing Arts

The 150,000 sq. ft., LEED-Certified Fisher Center contains a 1,727-seat European style performance hall, two multipurpose ballrooms, rehearsal space, dressing rooms and impressive technical facilities.

The performance hall, which opened in 2021 and is named in tribute to retired Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher and his wife Judy, adds another jewel to Music City’s crown of world-class venues as it caters to diverse audiences with major concerts and events while also supplying Belmont students with an exceptional learning and performing environment.

McWhorter Hall

McWhorter Hall is a 90,000 square foot facility that is home to Belmont’s College of Pharmacy, College of Physical Therapy and Department of Psychological Science. McWhorter Hall is the Project Innovations 2011 Merit Winner for New Construction

The Hall's sustainable features include:

  • The only large extensive green roof on an educational facility in Nashville, serving several purposes including a reduction in the heat island effect, natural habitats for wildlife, pollution reduction and irrigation usage
  • A 20,000 gallon water storage tank, which has the ability to capture excess ground and storm water for recycling and irrigation that would otherwise be pumped into the storm system
  • A total footprint, including the four-story underground garage, of less than an acre

Johnson Center

Belmont’s R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center is an $80 million facility that is home to Harrington Place Dining, Belmont's campus dining facility, the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, programs in media studies and the University’s motion pictures program. The 134,000 square foot building sits atop a 1,000+ -space parking garage and provides students with a number of additional technological opportunities including 30 student edit bays, multiple computer labs, a motion capture facility, a Foley/ADR sound studio, a color correction studio and a video/broadcast studio, among others. The building is a LEED certified facility and received a Gold rating.

The Center's sustainable features include:

  • Gold LEED certification
  • A geothermal heating and cooling system that uses the Earth's natural temperature to regulate interior climate, expected to yield a savings of 40 percent in overall energy costs
  • A composting system that converts food and cardboard waste into enriched soil additives through large dehydrators, reducing overall waste from food operations

Tall HallLEED-Gold Certified Tall Hall, a $78 million dollar and 243,000 square foot residence hall, is home to over 600 residents. Visible from countless spots around the city, Tall Hall includes a basement and 10 floors and sits atop a hilly area between 12 South and 15thAvenue. The structure’s top floor, based on overall elevation, represents one of the highest points in Nashville, offering tremendous birds-eye views of downtown.

Tall Halls sustainable features include: 

  • Flush & flow fixtures that reduce water usage by 47% (saving approximately 4.3 million gallons of water annually)
  • A high efficiency variable refrigerant flow HVAC system, a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) with energy recovery
  • Condensing boilers for domestic hot water
  • Efficient lighting design with LED fixtures and integrated lighting controls

Learn more about our Conservation Covenant