SDSU Green Student Union Breaks Ground

San Diego State University (SDSU), home of the Aztecs, recently broke ground on its new Aztec Student Union, a green building project targeting LEED Platinum status. If the project takes this level of certification, it will be the first to do so within the California state university system.

The original Aztec Center student union, which closed its doors on May 24, stood on the campus for 43 years; abatement and demolition is scheduled to begin on or around June 11, with nearly 80% of construction debris slated for recycling or reuse. The university broke ground on the new student union on the first of this month, with various SDSU administrators in attendance.

SDSU Aztec Student Union

image via SDSU

Green features of the new SDSU Aztec Student Union include roof-mounted solar panels, a green roof, extensive use of sunshades, and underground storm water collection tanks for non-potable uses.

The building will also make use of a ground-source geothermal heat exchanger, which will help to keep indoor temps comfortable with a minimum of energy expended, and a radiant in-floor heating system. Operable windows throughout will give occupants room-by-room temperature and ventilation control, while pervious paving in the surrounding landscape will help to reduce storm water run-off.

The building — which will provide SDSU students with a place to lounge, study and relax — is expected to come in at around 40% more efficient than a conventional building of similar size.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.