Santa Clara University

sustainability at scu

The Commons on Kennedy Mall

Santa Clara University's Sustainable Design Demonstration Building 

Commons Exterior

Situated between academic and residential areas of the campus, the 7,500 square foot Commons serves as a community meeting place for faculty and students—housing classrooms, administrative offices, and a multi-purpose room.

The Commons at Kennedy Mall is home to a variety of classes, meetings, and events including Campus Sustainability Day, an annual celebration of University sustainability each October.

More information:

Learn more about the building's living green roof

Download a .pdf brochure about the building *new!

Building Features:

Commons Sustainable Features Tour
  • Natural ventilation
  • Solar chimney
  • Day lighting
  • Green roof that supports live planting
  • Ground water cooling
  • Energy and water conservation
  • Insulating straw bale walls
  • Displacement ventilation
  • Data measurement and verification
Tour Sustainable Features Go

Benefits of Sustainable Building:

Commons Exterior

The Commons enables SCU to evaluate sustainable components that may be used in upcoming capital projects. This building demonstrates that sustainability responds to community, environmental, and economic needs.

In designing the new Commons, SCU brought together architectural and environmental experts to create a facility that promotes sustainable design and green building concepts by example and through education. The Commons serves as a learning laboratory by incorporating sustainable components and measuring their performance over time.


  • Demonstrates and utilizes green building concepts
  • Enhances occupant comfort and health
  • Minimizes strain on local infrastructure


  • Improves air and water quality
  • Enhances and protects ecosystems
  • Conserves natural resources


  • Optimizes life-cycle economic performance
  • Reduces operating costs
  • Improves productivity

Sustainable Features of the Commons at Kennedy Mall

Learn more about the sustainable features of Santa Clara's sustainable design demonstration building. Download a pdf document by Devcon Construction.