Sustainable Design in Higher Education

University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) facilities comprise 47 percent of State-owned property and each year initiate about $200 million in State-funded construction and renovation projects. Currently, the UC Office of the President is reviewing all its policies and procedures-particularly in the areas of design, construction, energy, water, and materials-to develop sustainable building guidelines.

California’s community colleges (CCC) comprise the largest postsecondary educational system in the world, serving over 1.4 million students. The system includes 4,700 buildings and 53 million square feet of space. The CCC is preparing a systemwide energy management plan which will include alternative technologies, renewable energy, and sustainable construction. The CCC also has several showcase buildings in progress.

To encourage community college districts to institute energy efficiency and resource conservation as core values, the Statewide Energy Management Program (SEMP), has developed the Energy Policy Handbook: Policy Recommendations for California and the Community College System. SEMP is a partnership between the California Energy Commission and the CCC Chancellor’s Office. They developed these draft guidelines in cooperation with DeAnza Community College for other districts to consider adopting as it fits their local needs.

Some of the most progressive efforts to incorporate sustainable building concepts are occurring at our institutions for higher education in:


University of California

California State Universities

California Community Colleges

Private Colleges

Outside California

For more information contact: Office of Public Affairs,