What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is a process of adopting and implementing policies, strategies, and technologies to achieve balance between societal needs and conservation efforts. Sustainable practices meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

LEED Rating System

The LEED Green Building Rating System assesses these components and awards points based on the level of sustainability:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy & Atmosphere
  • Materials & Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation & Design Process

LEED has a four-level, certified rating system based on buildings' sustainability scores: Platnium, Gold, Silver, and Certified.

The University's goal is to achieve, at a minimum, LEED Silver certification.
Planning, Design & Construction Sustainability

Planning, Design & Construction (PDC) is committed to being a leader in sustainable design and construction through the use of green materials, systems and methods.

Goals in providing high quality sustainable facilities:

  • Reduce waste generation and pollution
  • Enhance occupant comfort, health, and productivity
  • Utilize appropriate Sonoran Desert design
  • Reduce energy, water use, and local infrastructure impact
  • Maximize longevity and efficiency

The University of Arizona has long been a leader in designing and constructing buildings using strategies which reduce energy and water use and improve productivity and health benefits. Before the terms "sustainable" or "green" became widely used, the University of Arizona was already designing and constructing high performance, energy efficient buildings intended to last 50 to 100 years. PDC led the University's development of Design & Specification Standards (DSS) in 1997 to require design and construction utilizing high quality materials, systems and methods. These standards are continually updated and improved to reflect our commitment to sustainable design.

As a way of validating and measuring these efforts, The University is registering projects with the U.S. Green Building Council to achieve LEED © certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a standardized, nationally-accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

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