San Diego State facility receives rare certification

San Diego State facility receives rare certification

Photo courtesy of San Diego State University

San Diego State University’s Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union has achieved LEED double platinum status, joining an elite group of energy-efficient buildings, the school announced.

The recognition is shared by fewer than two dozen facilities around the world. The newly earned LEED platinum certification for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance comes just two years after the student union earned LEED platinum status for new construction.

LEED is a third-party certification for “green” buildings and stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. To qualify for certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, each project must follow strict LEED guidelines.

The U.S. Green Building Council lauded SDSU for a long list of items, including the university’s commitment to installing energy-efficient devices and materials, using water-saving equipment and providing an overall sustainable site.

"The Aztec Student Union's LEED double platinum award is a testament to what can be accomplished when students, faculty and staff work together to create a more just and sustainable future,” said Shelah Ott, Green Love commissioner for Associated Students of SDSU. “This recognition isn't just about our university or its people; it's about using our collective voice to make the world a more habitable place for generations to come."

The student union, completed in 2014, features a green roof that helps reflect sunlight and heat away from the building; high-efficiency LED bulbs, which contribute to saving nearly 40,000 kWh per year; solar panels, which generate nearly 16 percent of the energy the student union uses; and low-flow faucets and toilets that use 40 percent less water than what is outlined in the LEED baseline.

“SDSU is committed to providing its students, faculty and staff with a sustainable place to work and study,” said Tom McCarron, vice president for business and financial affairs. “The energy-efficient upgrades and improvements in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union preserve natural resources and lower the running costs of the facility.”

A number of SDSU buildings have achieved LEED certifications in recent years. The Mission Bay Aquatic Center became the first in 2013, and was soon followed by the Children’s Center, Storm and Nasatir Halls, Zura Hall, as well as the Aztec Recreation Center.

Several other campus buildings, both under construction and existing, are currently pursuing LEED certification, including the Viejas Arena, South Campus Plaza, and the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex.

Associated Students is on target to receive LEED certification for all of its facilities by 2020.

“LEED double platinum is a significant recognition of the hard work and student leadership of Associated Students,” said Stephanie Dathe, director of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. “Our facility is now one of only a handful of buildings in the world that have achieved this level of environmental sustainability."

Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Construction Firms, Educational Buildings - Colleges and Universities, Great Commercial Buildings, Green Roofs / Garden Roofs, Lighting - Energy Efficient Lighting, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design, USGBC

Companies: U.S. Green Building Council

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