CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Residential Complex Wins LEED Gold Award

Date: 07-27-2011

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
David Stephen, director
University Housing and Food Service

California State University, Chico received word late last week from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that the Sutter Hall residential complex project—which opened in fall 2010—received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.

The Sutter Hall complex, which cost $60 million to construct, occupies 111,000 square feet. The complex contains student residences, a residential dining center, and a programming center. The residential facility accommodates 232 undergraduate students; the dining center, comprising five unique food service platforms, seats 635 patrons; and the programming center contains large meeting rooms, a smart classroom, Residence Hall Association offices and a resource center.

LEED provides a rating system that distinguishes high-performance buildings that lessen the impact on the environment, are healthier for those who work and live in them, and are more profitable than their conventional counterparts. LEED for New Construction is a performance-oriented rating system where building projects earn points for satisfying criteria designed to address specific environmental impacts inherent in the design, construction, operations and management of a building.

The LEED certification system is organized into five environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality. An additional category, Innovation in Design, addresses sustainable building expertise as well as design measures not covered under the five environmental categories. The number of points a project earns determines its level of LEED Certification.

“During the initial USGBC project review, the Sutter Hall project earned all points possible in the Innovation in Design category,” said David Stephen, director of University Housing and Food Service. “We had solid footing going into the overall project evaluation in the remaining five categories. Still, receiving LEED Gold is a great outcome given the inherent complexity and sophistication of the project, especially with regard to having a major commercial kitchen and four satellite kitchens all within the dining center alone.”

Stephen said that the LEED Gold certification for the Sutter Hall project speaks volumes about the aesthetic, yet functional, building design, the materials and resources used to construct the three-building complex, and the well-executed plan to use best practices in sustainable building.

“We—the university community and my staff, especially—are all genuinely excited with this achievement and the recognition this brings to Chico State and the Sutter Hall project team,” said Stephen.