Santa Clara University


Buildings and Grounds


Building Design 

Santa Clara University is a member of The Green Building Council, the overseeing body of the LEED rating system. We have staff that have been trained in the principles of LEED and retain a number of LEED certified design consultants. The Office of Projects and Planning has completed an initial analysis of the proposed new Leavey School of Business building based on the LEED criteria with promising results.


Water Conservation

The University has responded to Governor Jerry Brown's declaration of a drought state of emergency in California with a goal to reduce the campus' potable water use by 20 percent. We have committed to reduce landscaping watering by 20 percent. Most of campus (over 85 percent) is already irrigated with recycled water, and we are expanding use of recycled water whenever possible.

Enrollment Building Rain Garden


The campus landscape is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also serves an important function and promotes a more sustainable relationship with our natural resources.

Admission and Enrollment Services

Schott Admission and Enrollment Services

The Patricia A. and Stephen C. Schott Admission and Enrollment Services building offers answers to Bursar, Financial Aid, and Registrar-related questions. The newest building to SCU gives a strong impression of the campus' beauty, support, liveliness, and commitment to sustainability.

Locatelli student activities center

Paul L. Locatelli, S.J. Student Activities Center

In the fall of 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, S. J. Student Activities Center. The center was completed in June of 2010 in honor of the longest serving university president, Paul Locatelli, S.J.

learning commons

Learning Commons, Technology Center, and Orradre Library

The Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library opened in March 2008. Though twice the size of the previous building, the 194,000 square foot campus hub consumes the same amount of energy.

Lucas Hall

Donald L. Lucas Hall

The Leavey School of Business building is designed to be 10% more energy efficient than California Title 24 requirements. The building has added exterior wall and roof insulation, double pane windows, high efficiency chillers and boilers, and automatic lighting controls. Over 75 percent of rooms in the building have both natural lighting and views of the outside. Construction materials were recycled, and building materials (carpeting, furniture, steel, and concrete) are composed of recycled material.

kennedy commons roof

Kennedy Commons

The Commons at Kennedy Mall 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. This building demonstrates that sustainability responds to community, environmental, and economic needs. NEW UPDATE on the FAQs about the removal of the living green roof (March 2015).


Graham Residence Hall

The first residence facility that is certified with the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program. Graham offers mini-suites, full kitchens, a small theater, outdoor entertainment areas, and classrooms. It has exceptional conditions for living, learning, and collaborating, as well as exposure to sustainable design.

Recent news


"SCU Unplugged" kicks off the Energy Challenge

SCU Unplugged. Photo courtesy of Sam Juda, The Santa Clara.On Wednesday, January 30th, the Office of Sustainability and KSCU partnered up to kick off the 4th annual Residence Energy Challenge with SCU Unplugged, a late night acoustic musical show in The Bronco.

With stellar performances from The Vanities and The JurassiC, and amazing a cappella from Supertonic!, SCU Unplugged put the 2013 Energy Challenge off to a great start. All attendees were eligible to enter a free Toms gift card raffle as a small preview of this year’s Energy Challenge prizes, and all on-campus residents who attended got a head start in helping to earn Energy Challenge enthusiasm points for their building.

The actual competition for the 2013 Energy Challenge starts February 1st, and runs until the end of the month. The residence hall that conserves the most energy during the month of February compared to a historical average will be crowned the “Energy Champion” and will receive 30 pairs of Toms shoes, three pairs of Toms designer sunglasses, and ten 50 percent off Toms sunglasses gift cards, which will be distributed among residents by the winning building’s Residence Life staff. The winning RLC will also get an ice cream party to celebrate at the end of winter quarter.

An ice cream party and prizes will also go to the “most enthusiastic” building, including Zipcar and more Toms gift certificates, which will again be distributed among residents by their Residence Life staff.

Residents can help earn enthusiasm points for their building by going to Energy Challenge-related events on-campus and in their RLC, and by posting on the Sustainability at SCU Facebook page, mentioning @sustainablescu on Twitter, and by tagging #sustainablescu in their Instagram photos to show off their conservation efforts. 

The next major opportunity to earn enthusiasm points will be the campus-wide, voluntary Zero-Power Hour on Monday, February 11, 9-10 pm. Co-sponsored by RLCA, the Housing Office, and the Office of Sustainability, residents will be encouraged to turn off as many lights as possible and unplug all appliances and electronics for just one hour both to help their building save energy and to earn enthusiasm points for the challenge.

RLCA representatives, Community Facilitators, and Community Council members will be working together to put on a fun, zero-power event in each RLC during that time period for residents to attend.

The Office of Sustainability looks forward to yet another great competition, so remember to power down, shut off, and unplug throughout this month!

More information about the 2013 Energy Challenge.

By Amelia Evans, '13 Sustainabilty Intern -- Residence Life

Tags: Buildings and Grounds, Climate Neutrality, Energy, Program Highlights, Residence Life, Student Life, Take Action

Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053