Six years ago, a design-build team sat down with Cal Poly with the vision of a new on-campus residential community that centered around sustainably. Fast forward to today, yakʔitʸutʸu stands proudly at the entrance to Cal Poly’s campus and has now officially received LEED Gold Certification.
To achieve LEED certification, a building design must employ several sustainable strategies. Cal Poly’s very own yakʔitʸutʸu received recognition from The U.S. Green Building Council as being LEED Gold certified for minimizing the environmental impact on residents and on the surrounding area.
The construction of yakʔitʸutʸu began with preparation that involved little impact to natural habitats, a reduced number of parking spaces, and alternative means of transportation to discourage student vehicular use. The site was then set up to feature numerous bioswales that collect stormwater runoff and remove debris and pollution from the runoff.
But it doesn’t stop there, all restrooms and showers on site use low flow bathroom fixtures to reduce indoor water usage by more than 30%. The building hosts 475 kW on-site renewable energy with solar panels on the parking garage and at the southern bicycle storage location. All indoor paints, coatings, flooring systems, and wood products installed on the project are certified as low-emitting materials that do not negatively impact indoor air quality.
The project diverted over 94% of its construction waste from the landfill and more than 97% of the wood installed on the project is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood which is harvested from sustainable forests.
Lastly, a Green Cleaning program was instituted to make sure employees and building occupants are not exposed to harmful chemicals during the normal course of building maintenance and cleaning.
Cal Poly is among the leaders in the CSU and comparable to UC campuses and many private institutions on its sustainability measures. Practicing and encouraging environmentally friendly habits is highly valued at Cal Poly as demonstrated in yakʔitʸutʸu. The university is very appreciative that all of this hard work got the proper recognition!