Built Environment

built enviroment
A mix of desert climate, high performance goals and the insight of a leader in sustainable design has yielded one of the first LEED Gold-certified straw-bale buildings in the world. Resource- and energy-efficient, the Santa Clarita Transit Maintenance Facility designed by HOK exceeds California Energy Efficiency Standards by more than 40 percent, securing a new standard for straw-bale in high performance building design. Read more: HOK’s LEED Gold-certified Straw Bale Building

For better or worse, our experience in life is inextricable from our interaction with buildings. By some estimates 40% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the built environment. Many currently and widely used building materials, finishes and components involve byproducts, fabrication processes, or energy consumption levels that are quite harmful to us as inhabitants of the buildings as well as to the earth’s systems upon which we rely for good health.

The Sustainability Center led the successful effort to pass a UI Sustainable Building Policy, which requires that all future new buildings and major remodels will at least meet the Silver LEED standard, ensuring a higher level of energy efficiency in future buildings than previously required.