The building industry has a significant environmental impact, accounting for emissions into the air, waste generation, soil pollution, and resource consumption. While it is necessary for a University campus to enhance its facilities and maintain certain standards, it is also critical to engage in building practices that preserve our environment. Since the 1980's, Pepperdine has actively sought, evaluated, and implemented sustainable elements into campus enhancement projects while designing buildings according to, among other things, the criteria of "lifecycle" cost and energy efficiency. In addition to the sustainable elements incorporated into University facilities described below, energy performance standards go beyond code for all buildings.
Both new construction and remodel projects are assessed for ways to incorporate sustainability into the facility. Not every measure is included in every building, but where feasible and complementary to the facility's purpose, such measures are incorporated. These include:
Projects since 2007, including the Thornton Administrative Center first floor renovation and the Elkins remodel, have utilized Interface Flor carpet tiles. This is a product that has no net negative impact on the environment from the manufacture, sale, installation, or disposal. The carpet tiles are climate neutral, which means they zero out all greenhouse gas emissions associated with the entire life cycle of the carpet. We have learned a lot about sustainability from this innovative company.
During new construction, our average diversion rate for construction waste is 80%. This means that 80% of all the construction wasted is recycled and reused. Since a large portion of construction waste can be recycled, Pepperdine ensures that it maintains a high diversion rate.
The founding director of Pepperdine's Center for Sustainability holds a LEED accreditation from the United States Green Building Council, which allows her to counsel the University on sustainable building practices. LEED accreditation, knowledge of sustainable building, and the ability to feasibly incorporate such measures is a consideration in the hiring process of architects for upcoming campus enhancement projects.
Once constructed, the University emphasizes sustainable maintenance of campus buildings. For example, Pepperdine uses environmentally friendly cleaning supplies including Green Seal certified products.