Buildings and Landscape

Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center

LEED Buildings at San José State University 

All new buildings at San José State University (SJSU) are designed and built in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a program administered by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Buildings have the potential to earn platinum, gold, silver or certified status in one of four categories of standards.

LEED participation is consistent with SJSU’s commitment to sustainability and the fulfillment of EO987 and Assembly Bill 32 by incorporating our local geography in building design, minimizing operating costs, maximizing energy and water efficiency, and choosing materials and systems whose total life cycle, from manufacture to replacement, minimize environmental impacts.

LEED Standards

SJSU has implemented an energy efficiency design  strategy for all new construction. Buildings will be designed and built with new, more efficient  variable air volume HVAC systems. Staged systems and CO2 controls are installed to respond to varying occupancy. Buildings will have energy efficient LED lighting and controls. Building management systems and metering help to monitor and improve performance. Options for solar photovoltaic or other emerging technologies are avaluated for each new project.

Objectives for 2030

  • Buildings designed after 2025 will be designed net zero, meaning the total amount of energy used yearly by a building is equal to or less than the amount of energy generated by the use of innovative technologies and renewable power.
  • All new buildings going forward will be certified as LEED Gold or higher.
  • Increasing energy efficiency and water usage for existing buildings.

Interdisciplinary Science Building

San Jose State University will create a state of the art science facility focused on faculty-led student research. The project will construct a new building of 107,000 square feet accommodating teaching labs, research labs, faculty offices and other interdisciplinary spaces. Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2019 and will be completed by December 2021. Priorities for design for this building will be to build it to LEED Gold standards.

New building information can be found here.

Student Union

Student Union Building

The Student Union (SU) Expansion was completed in Fall 2015. The entire Student Union building has achieved LEED Gold

Student Wellness Center

Student Wellness Center 

The three-story, 53,000 square foot on-campus health center was completed in March 2015. The Student Wellness Center (SWC) was designed and built as a LEED Gold-equivalent project.

Spartan Complex

Spartan Complex Building

Spartan Complex (SPX) was completed in Fall 2015 and designed to LEED Silver standards.  

Campus Village 2

Campus Village 2

The ten-story high Campus Village 2 (CV2) was completed in Fall 2016 and designed to LEED Silver standards.

Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center 

Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center (SRAC)

The Spartan Recreation and Aquatic Center (SRAC) opened in April 2019 with LEED Gold certification.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

 MLK Library

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library (MLK) was constructed in 2003 as a partnership between the City of San José and SJSU and is operated by SJSU under a joint operating agreement. The building was LEED Silver Certified in 2012.

7th Street


SJSU campus area comprises of 167 acres, of which 41 acres are buildings and 126 acres are grounds managed sustainably. The SJSU Sustainable Landscape Management Program includes the Integrated Pest management (IPM) plan and addresses campus plant stewardship, soil stewardship, use of environmentally preferable materials, materials management and waste minimization, and hydrology and water use.


BEE Protective Campaign

President Papazian signed the Bee Protective Campaign in Fall 2018. The Bee Protective Campaign is an initiative to encourage universities, institutions, and local municipalities to resolve to eliminate the use of bee-toxic pesticides on their grounds and to foster a healthier habitat by planting pollinator friendly plants. The campus recognizes the value of protecting honey bee populations and will not use bee-toxic pesticides and insect growth regulators on campus. SJSU will ensure that we have landscape services that encourage pollinator populations on campus.

Green Office Certification Program

The Green Office Certification Program (GOCP) gives San José State University faculty and staff an opportunity to reach the University’s commitment to sustainability. The program engages the University’s employees in the process of implementing sustainable practices in the workplace to reduce the environmental footprint of their office or department and the campus as a whole. 

The Office of Sustainability (OOS) and Environmental Resource Center (ERC) work in collaboration with the department to assess and offer guidance on reducing materials and waste, conserving energy and resources, and increasing overall environmental health and wellness. The department then works with the GOCP team to develop a list of actionable recommendations to improve their routine behaviors and practices. There are four levels of certification: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum! If you are interested in certifying your office, please sign up at