Cal Poly Receives LEED Silver Certification for Operation and Maintenance of Three Existing Campus Buildings

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly has received LEED Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for three existing campus buildings, the Advanced Technology Laboratories, Cotchett Education Building and the Construction Innovations Center.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized certification system to assure, by third-party verification, that a structure meets standards in a range of key performance areas, from energy savings and water efficiency to CO2 emissions reduction and indoor environmental quality. Projects earn one of four levels of LEED certification — certified, silver, gold or platinum — based on a point-based rating system.

The three structures achieved their certification in LEED’s operations and maintenance (O+M) category. The 51,106-square foot Cotchett structure replaced Cal Poly’s original administration building in 1941. The ATL, at 17,241 square feet, was opened in 1999. The nearly 49,000-square-foot Construction Innovations Center was completed in 2008.

The LEED O+M rating system addresses transportation use; building interior, exterior and site maintenance programs; energy and water efficiency; purchase of environmentally preferred products and food; solid waste management; and indoor environmental quality.

The designation brings to seven the number of LEED-certified projects on the Cal Poly campus, and represents nearly a third of the campus’ 6 million square feet of building space.

“Cal Poly was the first CSU campus to certify an existing campus building using the LEED system, achieving silver certification with the Faculty Offices East Building in 2008,” said Dennis Elliot, the university’s director of Energy, Utilities, and Sustainability. “Adding another three buildings to our LEED portfolio using the O+M criteria is a testament to Cal Poly’s commitment to sustainability, and the outstanding work performed by our maintenance staff every day.”

Developed by the nonprofit USGBC, LEED offers building owners a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions from new construction to existing structures.

“By looking at the academic core of the campus as a whole, the university was able to take a step back from building-centric thinking and re-evaluate decision making and campus policies overall. This systems-thinking approach allowed for wide-reaching impacts,” said Stacey White, principal with mode Associates, the San Luis Obispo-based firm managing the comprehensive certification effort. “The rigorous scope of this rating system ultimately touched nearly every aspect of campus operations, and success was supported by faculty, staff and students alike.”

In addition to recognizing the performance of these buildings in regard to energy, water and indoor environmental quality, the LEED process highlighted the value of the campus’ green cleaning program in custodial services and ongoing sustainable transportation and procurement programs.

“We very much appreciate the campus’ efforts to improve maintenance processes, procurement choices, and the investments in water and energy monitoring and use,” White said. “We look forward to seeing the benefits of these improvements and in supporting the certifications to come.”

About Cal Poly
Founded in 1901 and part of the renowned California State University system since 1960, Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive polytechnic public university located in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Known for its Learn by Doing approach, small class sizes and open access to expert faculty, Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community whose 21,000 academically motivated students enjoy an unrivaled hands-on educational experience that prepares them to lead successful personal and professional lives. For more information, visit

About Cal Poly Energy, Utilities and Sustainability
Cal Poly Energy, Utilities, and Sustainability, a unit of Facilities Management and Development, is dedicated to the responsible management of the natural resources that impact campus operations. Electricity, natural gas, water and various other resources are critical to operating a successful university and the sustainable use of these resources are a driving force in Cal Poly campus planning and operations. A renowned leader in sustainability efforts, Cal Poly has received 29 Best Practice Awards from the UC/CSU/CCC Energy Efficiency Partnership Program. The campus has also earned significant CSU funding and utility incentives for energy conversation and continues to be named a Tree Campus USA and Best Workplace for Commuters. For more information, visit

Contact: Dennis Elliot

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