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Santa Clara University's Student Center Recognized as a LEED Gold Building

Monday, Nov. 21, 2011

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 21, 2011—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. Santa Clara University will celebrate its achievement on Monday, Nov. 28 at 3:00 p.m., at which time the university will unveil its LEED Gold Certification plaque at the Locatelli Student Activity 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. Unlike traditional cement sidewalks, which are completely watertight and drive water toward storm drains to flow straight into the Bay, brick pavers are permeable and allow water to pass through them. 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 in 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.

The center was completed in June of 2010 in honor of the longest serving university president, Paul Locatelli, S.J., who passed away in July of 2010 from pancreatic cancer. The structure was created as a center for student groups and activities, housing large multipurpose rooms and conference rooms. While the second floor has office spaces for student organizations, the lower floor is a 6,000-square-foot assembly hall, complete with disco ball suspended from the 20-foot ceiling.

The center is the greenest building on campus, said Joe Sugg, assistant vice president for university operations at SCU. “The emphasis on energy conservation and use of materials that are environmentally friendly easily garnered LEED gold certification, one of the highest rating for building sustainability,” he said.

Energy efficiency and sustainability are priorities at Santa Clara University in order to become climate neutral by the end of 2015, as promised by SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. The university has launched several initiatives to achieve this goal, including installing solar panels, a solar thermal collector, a smart microgrid, and a wind turbine. Santa Clara’s efforts are paying off. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently honored the university with a 2011 Green Power Leadership Award.

Learn more about Santa Clara University’s sustainability initiatives.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating highereducation institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media contact:
Connie Kim Coutain | | 408-554-5126 O | 408-829-4836 C


Tags: LEED Gold Certification, Paul Locatelli, Student Activity Center, U.S. Green Building Council

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