Sustainable Development

Building a Green Campus

CEU’s new campus design earned “Very Good” status from BREEAM, the world's leading assessment method for sustainable buildings. CEU is the first institution of higher education in Central and Eastern Europe to receive this distinction and the second in continental Europe.


This certificate is the result of over three years of detailed consultations and analysis with members of the University community, experts in sustainable building and construction practices, and local heritage authorities. It was of utmost importance to award-winning architects Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey to acknowledge the way people work and study in the space while delivering a comfortable and functional campus environment. The architects have designed a number of BREEAM certified campus buildings in urban environments, corresponding to the profile of CEU's needs.

The new design will significantly reduce overall energy consumption per square meter of building space related to University activities, lowering the environmental impact of CEU's operations. Savings of close to €1 million per year are expected thanks to energy efficiency, prudent management of the space and increased user consciousness regarding sustainable practices.

O'Donnell and Tuomey's “green” CEU design incorporates eco-friendly elements, a key factor in blending new construction into the existing built environment. In addition to energy-efficient equipment and building management systems, and the added ecological value of a rooftop garden of native species that will span two buildings, CEU received a 100 percent BREEAM transportation rating for providing plentiful cycle racks and showers for bike commuters. The architects also carefully considered how natural light and shading can be managed with architectural elements and building controls to positively impact the working conditions within the campus. Further aiding in energy conservation, the new campus will rely less on mechanical heating, cooling and lighting systems to provide ideal internal conditions, and instead capitalize on natural lighting and shading elements, and a robust building fabric to maintain a high quality work environment.

The new CEU design is a 'bespoke' or customized assessment. It is complex as the evaluation has to take into account existing buildings and structures, some of them historic. Another feature that makes the project special is the management's efforts to work with the surrounding community which has a vested interest in the University. It is also unique to Hungary to implement international best practices during the construction – to monitor air quality, reduce dust and communicate with workers in their native languages. CEU is working with the Market Strabag Consortium to maintain prudent sustainable site management practices during the construction period and to assure BREEAM certification for the construction stage of the project.


We are proud of these environmentally-friendly design elements:

  • A rooftop garden of bird and bee friendly native species that will span two buildings
  • Energy-efficient equipment and building management systems
  • Abundant bicycle racks, storage lockers and showers for bike commuters
  • Natural light and shading elements to reduce reliance on mechanical heating, cooling and lighting
  • Significant repurposing and reusage of building materials; minimizing the need for procuring virgin resources 
  • A rainwater collection based drip irrigation system which will reduce fresh water consumption for maintaining the rooftop garden