At De Anza

Campuswide Commitment to Sustainability

De Anza College’s deep commitment to sustainability was recognized in October when the Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies won the UC Berkeley-based Center for the Built Environment (CBE) award for exceptional performance in occupant satisfaction, resource efficiency and overall design.

View the press release about the Livable Buildings Award, read about CBE and the criteria, and learn more about the Kirsch Center and CEAG.

Projects making sustainable practices a part of De Anza culture:

Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies
A 17-year effort, the Kirsch Center was conceived and is operated by De Anza faculty, staff and students. The De Anza Associated Student Body (DASB) provided $180,000 for the building’s conceptual design, and the Steve and Michele Kirsch Foundation contributed $2 million toward construction. The rest of the $10-million project was paid for with local bond funds. The Morgan Family Foundation gave $3 million to endow the Morgan Family Chair in Environmental Studies. Opened to students in fall 2005, the building is a place for students to learn about environmental stewardship, sustainability, and energy and resource management.

Sustainability Management Plan
Developed by the College Environmental Advisory Group (CEAG), the Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) provides a formal framework for implementing De Anza’s Sustainability Policy and guides continual improvement in environmental protection and sustainable practices. The SMP will be one of the first in higher education. Earlier this year, the DASB, Academic and Classified Senates approved the plan. College Council voted to approve the plan on Nov. 8, 2007. The next step is to assign roles and responsibilities for implementing the plan. The final SMP will be available soon with names of individuals who helped make the plan possible. Visit CEAG's campus sustainability Web page to download the draft plan approved by College Council.

Green Building Construction and Renovation
The construction of the Kirsch Center and the recent renovations to the Hinson Campus Center, Administration and Planetarium buildings incorporated recycled and recyclable materials and low-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, carpets and tiles. In addition, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were made more efficient and tied into the district’s energy management system.

LEED® Certification for New Buildings
Sustainability successes include LEED® certification of the Science Center and the Student and Community Services Building; the Kirsch Center’s LEED® platinum application; and at least LEED® silver certification planned for the Visual and Performing Arts Center and the Mediated Learning Center.

Eco-Friendly Food Services
The newly renovated Campus Center Food Court features biodegradable paper products and utensils and organic produce choices from local farmers. These changes were the result of a team effort of student leaders from the environmental club WISE 37 and Patrick Gannon, director of the campus center, with support from Jeanine Hawk, vice president of Finance and College Services.

Green Operations
All paper supplies provided by Custodial Services contain post-consumer recycled content, and custodians use toxic-free cleaning agents. Landscaping projects feature native and drought-tolerant plants; no pesticides are used. The college has a long history of recycling efforts, and plans are under way for a campuswide recycling education project.

Environmental Studies Curriculum
Since moving into the Kirsch Center, the Environment Studies Department has added new general education courses to its program. Also, it now offers an A.A. in stewardship, as well as degrees and certificates in energy technology management and biodiversity. Instructors from other departments across the campus also teach classes in the building, often with environmental themes. One of the aims of the SMP is to inspire all departments to include themes of sustainability in curriculum planning.

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