Net Zero

ASU's first Net Zero Energy Building

The Student Pavilion is ASU’s first attempt and Arizona’s largest Net Zero energy facility. Simply, this means our goal is for the building to produce as much electricity as it consumes on an annual basis. We can accomplish this through a combined effort of a well-insulated building, natural daylighting, high efficiency equipment, and building users' participation in energy saving behaviors. The remaining energy needs will be offset by solar panels on the roof and from the Memorial Union shaded plaza.

The Student Pavilion was also designed from its inception to be a Zero Waste facility. With leadership from Zero Waste at ASU, we were able to achieve 90%+ diversion from the landfill during demolition and construction. As a result and with all of our partners here at ASU, the Student Pavilion is positioned to operate with 90% diversion from the landfill. We accomplish this through recycling, composting, sustainable purchasing practices, and building user participation.

Student Pavilion – Sustainability Features


  • Roof materials and landscaping do not absorb and store heat, which helps keep the building and surrounding  area cooler.
  • Solar panels on the roof not only produce electricity, but also help shade the building to keep it cooler.
  • Rainwater is used for irrigation, which cleans, filters and reuses water that would have otherwise have gone down a drain.
  • Repurposing a low-use parking lot and low-density building preserved other open/green space within the campus.
  • Site was selected near center of campus to enhance the overall campus experience and is close to major campus amenities (Memorial Union, Food Service, Hayden Library, Sun Devil Fitness).
  • The Student Pavilion is within walking distance of bus stops and the Light Rail station, promoting alternative transportation and a walkable campus.

Water Efficiency

  • "Low-flow" sinks and toilets use 20% less water than a typical building.
  • Used desert landscape which needs little to no irrigation water.
  • Using landscaped bioswales allow water to slowly soak into the ground to replace underground water, instead of going down a drain where it cannot be immediately re-used.
  • The leftover water condensation from the air conditioning equipment is used to water the landscape.
  • The building is built to have "purple pipe" installed in the future, allowing the capture and reuse of "greywater".
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures will reduce the overall water consumption for the building by a minimum of 20%.


  • Dynamic Glass placed in strategic locations self-tint to reduce solar heat and glare, similar to self-shading sunglasses (transition lenses). This helps keep the building cooler, thus using less energy.
  • Zero Waste: The construction of the Student Pavilion strived to keep waste out of landfills by finding ways to reuse/recycle materials locally (known as diversion) and avoided using disposable materials in the first place (known as aversion).
  • Copper panels used on the building pay tribute to Arizona's nickname "the Copper State".
  • Recycled content materials.
  • Regional materials
  • Limestone panels are a regional material (within 500 miles) from Durango, Mexico.

Energy Performance

Strategies to achieve Net Zero Energy in the Student Pavilion include:

  • Solar panels are installed on the rooftop to generate electricity to offset the building energy use.
  • Highly insulated exterior walls and roof reduce heat flow into or out of the building, which reduces the amount of energy needed to keep the building interior comfortable.
  • High efficiency, dual and triple glass reduces heat moving through the glass and the "dynamic glass" (darkens as the sunlight increases)  reduces heat and glare.
  • Pre-cooled air and chilled beams lead to low energy use for cooling, heating and ventilation. This is the first application of an indirect evaporative cooling at ASU.
  • Monitoring equipment tracks heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, electrical plugs and equipment energy use in the building to understand the energy use and makes adjustments to reduce  energy use.
    • For example, occupancy sensors will turn-off power to outlets and lights when no one is in the room.
  • High efficient (LED) lighting is 60% more efficient than typical fluorescent lighting.
  • Heat moves more quickly through glass than through the walls or roof. Minimizing the windows while still providing daylight and views, reduces heat entering (summer) and heat leaving (winter) the building.
  • Exterior shading of windows and walls reduces direct sunlight heat and glare.
  • While minimizing heat gain through windows is important, we also recognize natural light is important to health.  Solar tubes (similar to a highly reflective skylight) bring sunlight into in middle of the building through tubes which allow light to enter from the roof and reduce the need for electric lighting.
  • Energy efficient office, classroom, and kitchen equipment (copiers, refrigerators, coffee makers, computers, projectors, monitors, etc.).

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Paint, coatings, flooring, composite wood, adhesives and sealants contain no or low levels of chemical odors.
  • The building monitor’s outdoor air is monitored and adjusts indoor air to ensure high quality.
  • Solar tubes provides access (even on the middle level) to natural daylight which improves human health and wellbeing.
  • Visual connection to Orange Mall, and views of campus, A-Mountain and South Mountain at upper levels increase well-being.

Innovation in Design

  • Green Building Education is provided through the lobby area dashboard, signs indicating green building features, and learning activities throughout the building.
  • Green Cleaning, using non-toxic cleaning products, is a standard in the Student Pavilion and across all ASU buildings.


  • The goal was to recycle, reuse, or repurpose over 95% of waste generated from construction; the construction process met this goal.
  • When original building on the site was demolished, over 99% of the materials were diverted for recycling or reuse purposes.
  • Building commissioning includes both envelope and building systems (heating, cooling and ventilation, cooling, etc.), to ensure all building components were installed properly and operate as designed.

Building Operations

  • Host an event in the Student Pavilion and demonstrate a commitment to ASU's Zero Waste goal. Help minimize landfill waste by considering the types of materials being purchased for the event, and ensuring material can be diverted through either composting or recycling. Learn more about how to host Zero Waste Events at ASU.
  • Office Composting - offices in the Student Pavilion participate in office composting of food and napkins.
  • Paperless operations through the use of iPads for event spaces.
  • Water Bottle Filling Stations (Located on the first, second and third second  floors).