The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification to Santa Clara University’s Paul Locatelli Student Activity Center. The rating recognizes the efficient use of energy and resources during the construction and operation of the 16,284-square-foot student center.
Built in 2010, the center is designed to blend in with other buildings on campus and integrates energy-efficient features like trellises and overhangs to reduce direct solar gain on the south and west face of the building.
Use of mortar-free pavers and decomposed granite for walkways around the building reduce water runoff. Water runoff from the building is diverted to planting areas to increase the infiltration rate and reduce the impact of storm water. Paints, surface coatings, and adhesives throughout the center were chosen based on their low-emissions or non-emissions of volatile organic compounds. Carpets are certified “Green Label” by the Carpet and Rug Institute
, meaning the carpets are the lowest emitting carpet products on the market. The center is also equipped with standard university recycling, waste, and composting bins, encouraging students to divert their waste from the landfill.
Santa Clara University also received a 2011 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The annual award recognizes the country’s leading green power users for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the development of the nation’s voluntary green power market. The EPA presented SCU with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2011 Renewable Energy Markets Conference on Nov. 16 in San Francisco, Calif.
Santa Clara University was one of only 10 organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for its green power purchases. The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy certificate (REC) supplier. SCU purchases more than 30 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, which is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of more than 4,000 passenger vehicles per year, or the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly 3,000 average American homes annually.