Whether it’s reducing waste, finding cost-effective building materials, streamlining maintenance processes, or designing campus facilities and landscapes that inspire our students, Facilities strives to provide innovative maintenance, design and solutions to the campus community.

To learn more about our nationally recognized innovative initiatives, explore our highlighted projects:

Solar/Photovoltaic (PV) Sites
Fuel Cell / Rainforest

Native Plant Restoration
LEED Buildings
Orange Grove Pond
Projects & Upgrades
Partnered Approach With The Institute For Sustainability

Solar/Photovoltaic (PV) Sites

Picture of B2 solar sitePhotovoltaic cells in the panels absorb the sun's rays creating direct current power that is directed to a substation where it is converted to alternating current. At CSUN, it is then increased to 4,160 volts of energy and fed into a power grid that distributes electricity throughout campus. In addition to saving energy, the use of photovoltaic cells is also easing the campus' impact on the environment.

PV Site Location

Energy Generation Capacity

Parking Lot B2467 kW
Parking Lot E6225 kW
Student Recreation Center (SRC)  90 kW
Boeing PV Site  61 kW
Total843 kW

Beginning with one of the largest solar electric installations at a public university in California of its time, the $1.8 million photovoltaic project at the E6 parking lot was developed through a partnership with the university's Physical Plant Management, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), Southern California Gas Company and Shell Solar Industries.  The installation of more than 3,000 solar panels in 2003 saves the University more than $50,000 annually  in energy costs while at the same time contributing to a cleaner environment. The solar modules, which are doubling as shading, can generate 75 watts of power each, producing a peak generating capacity of 225 kilowatts. In 2005, CSUN expanded its solar energy capacity with the B2 parking lot site that generates a capacity of almost double that of the original E6 PV site. Finally, in January 2011, a 90kW array was added to the roof of the new Student Recreation Center.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, by using 782 kilowatts of photovoltaic capacity, you reduce carbon emissions equal to the amount emitted by an average passenger car driving 2,509,980 miles.

Fuel Cell/ Rain Forest

Picture of the Fuel CellCSUN has established itself as one of the nation's leading academic institutions in taking action to reduce global warming. One example of this is our Fuel Cell Project, which debuted in 2007. Not only does the fuel cell power plant lower the demand for power from local utilities and save CSUN money, it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions that would have been produced by generating the electricity at conventional power plants.  Read more about Facilities Fuel Cell project.

Thanks to collaboration between students, faculty, and Facilities Services,  CSUN is the only educational campus in the world to have a fully sustainable tropical rain forest. Using eight cooling towers, and a fuel cell power plant, the site at INSERT LOCATION marks CSUN as one of the leaders in sustainable systems for academic institutions worldwide. The 14,000 square acre site not only creates a beautiful tropical oasis on campus, teeming with exotic plant life, it also makes financial sense. The Rain Forest Project, which recycles nearly 100 percent of its wastewater, is projected to save the campus $14.5 mil dollars over 25 years. 

Learn more about the Rain Forest.

Native Plant Restoration
Facilities Services is in the process of replacing certain lawns on campus with native plants to reduce the cost of water and maintenance.  “This renovation project is an experimental project in the very beginning stages,” Sutton said. “What we are doing in these areas is putting in drought-tolerant plants that are native to the region to save money in water and labor.”

LEED Buildings
LEED is a green-building certification system established in 2000 by the U.S. Green Building Council with the goal of promoting sustainable building practices.  The Valley Performing Arts Center, and the Student Recreation Center, were certified as LEED Gold facilities. The future Student Housing Phase II and Extending Learning Building will also be built to the LEED Gold standard. Read more about LEED.

Orange Grove Pond

Facilities Services is helping preserve a vestige of the San Fernando’s Valley past.  Our five-acre Orange Grove and Pond Project, located on the southeast corner of campus, includes a beautiful walkway, a 270-foot meandering stream, a natural spring well, dozens of red-eared slider turtles, and a koi pond. The 5 acre preserve also features a 400 tree orange grove, a reminder of the Valley’s agricultural past.

Learn more about the Orange Grove and Pond Project.

Projects & Upgrades

Jacaranda Roof PV Project
Walkway LED Replacement Projects
Cleary Walk
Redwood Walk
Lindley Walk
LED Parking Lot Light Fixture Replacement B4 Parking Lot
Campus Walkway Led Light Retrofit Test Project
Central Plant Retro-Commissioning
Central Plant Meter And Sensor Installation

Partnered Approach with the Institute for Sustainability

The Institute has taken a leadership role in projects that provide educational value, such as various demonstration projects, academic studies, surveys, and behavior modification initiatives related to energy and transportation. PPM has been able to partner with the institute on several projects that directly support our goals. Recent examples include the GIS tree and facility databases, both of which were developed by the Institute using student labor at a significant savings over outside consultant resources.