UC Santa Cruz has continued to set goals to sustain the natural environment while still building, maintaining and operating nearly six million gross square feet of housing, academic, administrative, research, and recreational space at multiple locations. In 2011, Cowell Student Health Center became the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building on campus receiving a Gold certification. This project was accomplished by being almost entirely student initiated, with students doing most of the design and construction. Administrators have heard this demand for more sustainable buildings and responded by setting a requirement that all new construction be a minimum of at least LEED Silver or equivalent. Since then, the Porter College House A and the Biomedical Building have both also achieved LEED-Gold certification.
The Student Environmental Center's Green Building Campaign has recently completed the construction of a "Self-Sufficient Greenhouse" with an integrated aquaponics growing system powered from rain water and solar energy. This greenhouse lives next to the College Eight Garden.
There are multiple LEED certified buildings on campus. LEED is a set of raing systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings. The Engineering 2 Building, the Porter College Dining Commons and the Cowell Student Health Center are some examples of LEED on campus.
Campus Sustainability Plan
Increase percentage of developed campus area that is built, operated, and maintained according to sustainable practices.
Research and explore new and emerging technologies and/or policies to increase sustainable performance in existing and new campus facilities.
Increase awareness of and engagement in sustainability activities related to facilities construction and operation.