The Dining Commons at CSU Monterey Bay is the university's second project to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification.

Dining Commons on the main quadThe renovation took place in 2009 and was finished on a tight schedule – 112 days between spring break and the start of the fall semester. It was the first significant improvement to the building since the campus opened in 1995.

The work focused on modernization through maximizing spaces, using natural and energy-efficient lighting and design elements geared to visual appeal and convenience.

The renovation of the 11,000-square-foot building cost $3.45 million. A new entryway was installed, the roof was replaced, structural steel framing was added, new serving-line areas were installed, Interior shot of the Dining Commonsserpentine quarry tile was added throughout the serving area, a conveyor dishwashing system was installed along with new heating and ventilation systems, and custom booth and banquette seating were added to create the look and feel of a restaurant.

In the LEED certification process, points are awarded within each of six environmental categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design.

The Dining Commons scored well in the categories of water efficiency, materials and indoor quality. The renovated building uses 50 percent less water. Points were also awarded for reusing an existing building and saving as much of the interior non-structural surfaces as possible. When new materials were required, they were made from recycled content and locally sourced.

And, over 75 percent of the demolition debris was recycled and kept out of landfills.

The Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library, which opened in December 2008, was the first campus building to be awarded LEED silver certification.