Through its innovative architecture, use of advanced technology and building materials free of the most harmful chemicals, and connection to an efficient, flexible district energy system, the eight-story, 544,000-square-foot complex will help Harvard progress toward its Sustainability Plan and achieve its goals to be fossil fuel-neutral by 2026 and fossil fuel-free by 2050.

Home to the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), the building is a living laboratory for world-class, interdisciplinary research, learning, and innovation. The SEC is set to open its doors to students in the fall of 2021.

“I have been in few buildings as captivating as the SEC,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow. “It brings beauty, practicality, and sustainability into harmony, a symbol of the University’s commitment to making the world better as we undertake our best work. Celebrating its opening — and heralding the arrival of our SEAS faculty and students — cannot come soon enough. We have the first chapter of an extraordinary story ahead of us.”

Drawing on research by SEAS and other Harvard faculty and students linking harmful chemicals in building materials to cancer, immune suppression, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, thyroid diseases, and more, the University used the design and construction of the SEC to transform the marketplace for healthier building materials.