COVID-19: Essential Information

Planning and Design

Guiding Principles for Planning and Design

According to the 2008 Master Plan, the guiding principles are the embodiment of the philosophy and spirit of the College community as set forth and adopted by the trustees. The principles outline, in general terms, the College’s environmental goals pertaining to construction, renovation, operation, and maintenance of campus facilities. The principles are a statement of purpose that defines how the College and its appointees will make decisions pertaining to the relationship of this built environment and the natural environment. By integrating long-range environmental considerations into the planning process, Middlebury College will be better prepared to assess risks, identify opportunities, and make more informed decisions about the College’s future.

Middlebury’s guiding principles are unique and rightly so as the College is a unique institution with its own history and its own culture. It is contextually unique as well; there are resources and particular challenges that will be reflected in the final process and product of this labor.

The guiding principles are shared with all individuals and organizations involved in the design, construction, maintenance, and demolition of campus buildings and landscapes to provide guidance about practices, and for consideration of advancements and improvements. Consultants who contract to provide services for the College will address the guiding principles and the related procedures and practices.

During this period of unprecedented growth at Middlebury College, the guiding principles provide direction by describing the overarching community, academic, and environmental values of the institution along with general guidelines that respect these values. There is no ideal solution, just the right direction.


Whereas the College moves into the next millennium with a respect for tradition and regard for change that reflect the values of the institution. Whereas the College recognizes its potential to be a leader, it understands the importance of embodying these concepts into all its buildings and landscapes. Whereas it is the College’s intent to make sound decisions regarding construction, renovation, and the landscape of the campus in order to achieve the best results and final products, it is therefore resolved that the College shall develop a framework to implement procedures and practices that establish a more informed process in which to review alternatives and provide direction. It is resolved that through that framework, the College and its appointees shall consider energy systems, life cycles, water use, scale and location, light pollution, recycling and waste management, materials, community and product sources, community and regional impacts, transportation, aesthetics, indoor air quality, construction site management, viewsheds, open space, and other issues related to the campus.

The College recognizes that it must be a leader in the development of its own campus. The College also recognizes that as projects are developed, important information and resources are brought to bear on the unique situations of each project. This knowledge base should be preserved and enhanced to improve future projects. It is therefore further resolved that the College will develop the means and methods for coordinating essential information that can aid in the efficient use of its consultants and appointees.