LEED Certified Gold

Northeast Exterior Perspective

Northeast Exterior Perspective - Courtesy of Ryan Rendano

LEED Status
UMass Project Planners
Jeff Quackenbush
September 2015-January 2017
Construction Manager
Barr & Barr, Inc.
UMBA Project Manager


Built in 1885, the Old Chapel is the most iconic and significant historic building on the UMass Amherst campus. Designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the building originally housed a library, auditorium, and classrooms. It later became home to the Minuteman Marching Band in the 1960s, before officially closing its doors in 1996.

The Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015, and began a $21 million renovation, addition, and preservation effort to restore the building to its original glory. The revitalized Chapel now serves students, faculty, and alumni as a venue for performances, receptions, weddings, and gallery exhibitions.

The Old Chapel demonstrates how aspects of historic preservation and sustainability can work together in a renovation project. The project is LEED Gold Certified.

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Sustainable Sites​

  • Brownfield redevelopment
  • Stormwater Management Plan includes a dentention and infiltration system to reduce quantity, and improve quality of runoff from site
  • Compact building footprint maximizes open green space
  • Walkable to a library, hotel, restaurants, and other community services. Easy access to eight PVTA campus bus routes
  • Campuswide parking policy with discounts for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles

Water Efficiency

  • Anticipating a 34% reduction in potable water use via low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Water efficient landscaping improves site ecology without permanent irrigation methods

Energy & Atmosphere

  • Cut overall energy use by 21% through added insulation, exhaust air recovery, improved interior and exterior lighting power density, and variable speed pumping on chilled and hot water distribution
  • Implemented enhanced commissioning to ensure that the building’s systems perform as intended post-occupancy

Materials & Resources

Indoor Environmental Air Quality

  • Developed and implemented an Indoor Air Quality Plan during construction and before occupancy
  • Low-VOC flooring, paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, and composite wood
  • Individual lighting and temperature controls allow occupants to make adjustments for maximum comfort
  • Pollutant-collecting floor mats, HVAC filters, and isolated chemical storage ensure personal health and safety
  • Thermal comfort survey administered to building occupants following project completion
  • 99% of regularly occupied areas have access to exterior views and natural daylight

Innovation In Design

  • High efficiency LED light fixtures
  • Green Housekeeping Program
  • Active green building public education programs
  • Comprehensive Transportation Management Plan

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Green Building Brochure

Click here to access an interactive green building brochure for the renovated Old Chapel.

Green Building Tour Guide

Click here to view the green building tour guide for the renovated Old Chapel.

LEED Project Dashboard

Click here to view the official LEED project dashboard for the renovated Old Chapel.

LEED Project Scorecard

Click here to view the official LEED project scorecard for the renovated Old Chapel.


Photo Gallery

Click each photo below for an enlarged view.

Northeast Exterior Perspective

Northeast Exterior Perspective

Northwest Exterior Perspective

Northwest Exterior Perspective

Bell Tower

Bell Tower

First Floor Common Area

First Floor Common Area

West Stairwell

West Stairwell

Second Floor Corridor

Second Floor Corridor

Auditorium Interior

Auditorium Interior

Auditorium Interior

Auditorium Interior

Auditorium Interior

Auditorium Interior

Southeast Exterior Perspective

Southeast Exterior Perspective






Old Chapel at UMass Amherst - 360 Tour










Finegold Alexander Architects Wins Award for Old Chapel Renovation
High Profile - 3/2/2018

Old Chapel at UMass. Recognized by Mass. Historical Commission
New England Real Estate Journal - 12/15/2017

Old Chapel Deemed Best Renovation and Restoration Project
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian - 11/27/2017

UMass Amherst Honored for Old Chapel Renovation
The Boston Globe - 11/10/2017

UMass Reopens Old Chapel After Extensive Renovation
22 News - 8/3/2017

Something Old, Something New
The Magazine of the University of Massachusetts Amherst - Summer 2017

18 Years After Being Shut Down for Safety Concerns, UMass Amherst's Old Chapel Comes Back to Life
MassLive - 3/6/2017

UMass Amherst's Old Chapel Reopens After $21M Renovation
The Boston Globe - 2/24/2017

UMass Amherst Icon Gets New Lease on Life
The Boston Globe - 10/28/2016

UMass’ Old Chapel to Become New Once Again
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian - 9/9/2015

Photo Tour: Old Chapel at UMass Amherst Reveals Bright Future, Interesting Past
MassLive - 10/25/2013

Renovating the Old Chapel
UMass Amherst Alumni Association

Old Chapel Is Part Of New Building Boom At UMass Amherst
WAMC Northeast Public Radio - 5/17/2017 (Publication link unavailable)

UMass Rededicates Old Chapel after $21 Million Renovation
Amherst Bulletin - 4/1/2017 (Publication link unavailable)

Historic Old Chapel at UMass Comes Back to Life
The Daily Hampshire Gazette - 2/26/2017 (Publication link unavailable)

New Design Building, Renovations to Old Chapel and South College Completed
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 1/26/2017 (Publication link unavailable)

UMass Amherst's Old Chapel Honored with State Historic Preservation Award
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 11/9/2017 (Publication link unavailable)

Old Chapel at UMass Amherst Receives LEED Gold Certification
UMass Amherst News and Media Relations - 8/24/2017 (Publication link unavailable)

Victorian Society Honors Old Chapel Renovation
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 8/2/2017 (Publication link unavailable)

Old Chapel Open for Study, Relaxation
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 2/23/2017 (Publication link unavailable)

UMass Amherst’s Old Chapel Named to National Register of Historic Places
UMass Amherst News & Media Relations - 6/10/2015 (Publication link unavailable)

UMass Amherst Old Chapel Renovation
Finegold Alexander Architects, Inc. (Publication link unavailable)

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Images and web page design by Ryan Rendano.