What UVU is Doing: Buildings

Since its founding Utah Valley University has taken great strides to promote sustainability in the design and construction of its buildings. Making buildings more sustainable is a critical element of sustainability because buildings account for about forty percent of total energy consumption (electricity & fuel) in the United States (US Energy Information Agency) and building materials and construction account for about eleven percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction).

When the Orem campus was established efficiency was a key consideration. The campus was built on a sand and gravel quarry which reduced the amount of undeveloped land disturbed to build the campus. As the campus was developed, the following sustainable concepts were incorporated into the design:

  • Unit construction buildings that were built in a modular block system that can be expanded in a more cost-effective and efficient manner, as buildings can be added to existing efficient systems instead of creating new systems.
  • Passive solar features including windows oriented to collect warmth from the sun in the winter and blank walls to radiate heat away from buildings in the summer, lowering heating and cooling energy demands.
  • Geothermal heating and cooling system to further reduce heating and cooling energy demands. Learn more about the geothermal system on our page about Energy Conservation.

To further address building sustainably all new buildings on campus built since 2008 meet the State of Utah Department of Facilities Construction and Management's (DFCM) High Performance Building Standard (HPBS). In addition to being built to the HPBS, three buildings on campus: Student Life and Wellness Center, Science Building, and Clarke Classroom Building, have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification: Certified, Silver, and Gold respectively.

architechtural render of Noorda Center for the Performing Arts

Noorda Center for the Performing Arts

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photo of NUVI Basketball Center

NUVI Basketball Center

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architechtural render of Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism

Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism

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architechtural render of Classroom Building

Classroom Building

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photo of Student Life and Wellness Center

Student Life/Wellness

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photo of Science Building

Science Building

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phot of Fulton Library at sunset

Fulton Library

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photo of Capitol Reef Field Station

Capitol Reef Field Station

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