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Office of Climate Action
This image shows a digital mock up of Rutgers' first net zero building, a student project studio on Busch campus that opened fall 2022

Land Use and Building Design


The Land Use and Building Design Climate Action Group will adopt climate friendly construction and energy standards for new buildings, decommission buildings not suitable for energy retrofits, and adopt land use and construction practices that sequester carbon.  


  • Laura Berman, Assistant Vice President and Assistant University Architect, Rutgers IP&O 

    Laura Berman is wearing glasses and a tan blazer in front of a gray background

    Assistant Vice President for Architecture and Design, and Assistant University Architect with Rutgers University’s Institutional, Planning, and Operations, Laura leads the Office of Architecture and Design.  In this role, she manages a staff of professional architects, engineers and designers, overseeing projects related to space programming, architectural concept design, interior design, signage and environmental graphics, and construction technology.  Prior to joining Rutgers in 2018, Laura was an Associate at Payette in Boston, MA, where she was a Project Architect/Manager for academic science and world-class medical research facilities.  She went on to join New York University in the Strategic Assessment, Planning, and Design department, developing short and long term planning projects for the university.  She holds a Bachelors of Architecture from Syracuse University, is a Registered Architect in New Jersey and New York, is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and is credentialed as a LEED Accredited Professional.



    Frank Wong, Assistant Vice President, Planning, Development, and Design, Rutgers IP&O 

  • Brian Clemson , University Landscape Architect, Rutgers IP&O 

    Robert Gale, Senior Design Engineer     

    Jason Grabosky, Professor in Urban Forestry, RU-NB

    Pat Harrity, Director of Facilities Grounds New Brunswick  

    Mike Kornitas, Director of Sustainability and Energy, Rutgers IP&O 

    Richard Lathrop, Director, Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing & Spatial Analysis; Director, Rutgers Ecological Preserve; Professor of Environmental Monitoring, RU-NB

    Seth Richter, Project Manager, Rutgers IP&O  

    Elana Saltzman, Assistant Director of Design, Rutgers IP&O      


  • Integrate climate action goals into University planning and design processes 

    • Adopt new construction and energy standards for buildings  

    • Decommission old, inefficient buildings 

    • Follow the planning principles and sustainability framework embodied in the University Physical Master Plan – Rutgers 2030 

  • Expand carbon sequestration in campus lands, building materials, and peer-verified, Rutgers-managed off-campus projects by at least 2000 tonnes by 2030 and more thereafter. 

    • Expand no-mow/eco-mow zones and convert lawn to trees on university grounds 

    • Afforest “vacant” university-owned land and adopt enhanced forest management practices 

    • Implement “on-site” carbon offset projects 

    • Develop a low-carbon construction materials policy 

The IFNH building on cook campus, with a glass front, a metal shade, and a meadow.