Sustainable Built Environment

Keeling rooftip

UC San Diego is committed to meeting UC system-wide goals of achieving LEED-NC (Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design) Silver Certification for all new buildings and LEED-CI (Commercial Interiors) Certification for all major renovations. 

By achieving LEED ratings, Facilities Design & Construction is re‐thinking how campus buildings are designed, constructed, maintained and operated with respect to six major categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovations in design.

In addition to LEED accreditation, UC Office of the President supports campus sustainability goals by reinforcing a supplementary policy to beat California Building Energy Code by 20%.

Current Strategies

  • By 2020, all UC campuses have pledged to:
    • Reduce gas emissions to 1990 levels
    • Achieve zero waste
    • Purchase 20% sustainable food
    • Reduce water consumption by 20%
  • The UC system also aims to be carbon neutral by 2025.
  • All new construction and major renovations must meet a minimum standard of LEED New Construction Silver rating.
  • All new buildings or major renovation projects are required to outperform state energy codes by at least 30%.
  • The campus participates in San Diego Gas & Electric’s Savings by Design program which promotes an integrated design analysis which optimizes efficiency of various building systems.
  • The campus encourages innovations in sustainable measures beyond LEED for all renovation projects.

Green Building Case Studies

The UC San Diego campus currently has 24 LEED accredited buildings, which roughly represents 14% of the total building square footage. Seven more projects ‒ recently completed or in construction ‒ are registered for LEED accreditation, which represents approximately 7% of the total square footage.

See our projects.

Green Building Tours

In support of UC San Diego’s goal to increase community awareness about our local, regional and global impact, Facilities Design & Construction has partnered with University Communications and Public Affairs and Housing, Dining & Hospitality Services to offer free building tours that highlight green building strategies and designs used throughout campus. These walking tours focus on the architectural aspects of buildings that helped achieve LEED certification. As new buildings are certified, they will be added to the list of available tours offered.

If you are interested in taking a campus tour, see Public Tours or Eco Tours.

Recognition and Awards