Santa Clara University

sustainability at scu

Sustainable Features of the Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library

Though twice the size of the previous building, the University's new library is expected to consume the same amount of energy. Click on the headers below to learn more about the sustainable features of the Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library.
The Library was highlighted in a Sustainability Update because over 150 tons of steel and 400 tons of concrete were recycled during demolition. Over 40 tons of green waste was been composted as well.
  • learning commons windowsEnergy Efficiency

    Buildings account for roughly 40 percent of energy demand in the United States. Title 24, California’s Energy Efficiency Standards for buildings, was designed to reduce California’s energy demands by emphasizing energy efficiency measures. This building will perform roughly five percent better than required by Title 24. During the day, over 90 percent of publicly accessible space is lit by the sun.
    Download a pdf about the energy efficient features of the University's new building.
  • paversWater Conservation

    Water-related energy consumption in California represents approximately 15-20 percent of all energy consumed by the state. All 39 toilets in the building are flushed with recycled water, the first of their kind on our campus. The building’s landscaping is also irrigated with recycled water. Use of mortar-free bricks for walkways and pavers around the building reduce water runoff and help replenish groundwater.
    Download a pdf about the water conservation features of the University's new building.
  • constructionWaste Reduction

    Construction and demolition in the United States generates over 136 million tons of waste each year. Santa Clara University requires contractors to recycle as much construction and demolition waste as possible. Roof tiles from Orradre were stored and reused on the new library. Over 90 percent of demolition waste from Orradre Library was recycled or reused. Furniture pieces in the building are made with recycled or recyclable materials.
    Download a pdf about the waste reduction features of the University's new building.
  • carpetSustainable Design

    The building was designed to minimize the use of materials that are environmentally toxic and/or pose a threat to occupant health. Carpeting, paints and furniture materials used in the building emit low or no volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Recyclable carpet tiles allow for easy replacement of damaged carpeting. The building’s Living Room is composed of moveable furniture, designed to be arranged by students to best accommodate their studying needs. Raised floors have many benefits over traditional flooring by providing the building with the ability to adapt to future needs.
    Download a pdf about the sustainable design features of the University's new building.