How We Build

Leading the Way With LEED

In 2019, San Francisco State University built its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum building with the opening of the Mashouf Wellness Center. LEED is the world's most widely used green building rating system. Platinum is the highest rating followed by Gold, Silver then Certified. All new buildings at SF State must be built to LEED Gold standards or higher. Our buildings currently under construction -- including Manzanita Square, the new Creative Arts building and new Science building -- are all planned to be LEED Gold certified when they open in 2024. 

Sustainable Landscape

SF State's Grounds department is cultivating a landscape that maintains urban biodiversity, minimizes water for irrigation and prevents stormwater runoff.  

  • Our irrigation system uses moisture sensors and central controls to avoid water waste.

  • The Mashouf Wellness Center uses graywater to meet all landscape irrigation needs.

  • Bioswales -- landscaped channels that filter and absorb rainwater -- throughout campus minimize our impact on San Francisco's stormwater system. Check out the huge bioswale in front of the Mashouf Wellness Center!

  • Sustainable landscaping policies are outlined in our Landscape Framework and Forest Management Plan.

Planning + Design

Our Planning + Design team incorporates sustainability in every planning decision. This includes the Campus Master Plan, transportation planning and designing how people move through campus. For updates visit


Climate Action Goals

Updated January 2024

  • All future new buildings will be LEED Gold certified or higher and all-electric.  
  • All future new construction, remodeling, renovation and repair projects, regardless of funding source, will be designed with consideration of optimum energy utilization, decarbonization, and low life-cycle operating costs and shall exceed all applicable energy codes and regulations by 10%. (CSU Sustainability Policy)
  • Retrofit older buildings to be more energy efficient and all-electric, if funding becomes available.
  • In all areas where appropriate, landscaping will support a naturally functioning habitat, promote biodiversity, and preserve native landscapes. (CSU Sustainability Policy)
  • Care for all of managed grounds besides athletic fields (43 of 50 acres) a without the use of inorganic fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals, herbicides and fungicides. (Landscape Framework)

AASHE STARS Score 2023

Buildings Category:
Credit Status Points
Building Design and Construction (OP 3)  Complete 2.50 / 3.00
Building Operations and Maintenance (OP 4)  Complete 2.00 / 5.00
Grounds Category:
Credit Status Points
Landscape Management (OP 9)  Complete 1.86 / 2.00
Biodiversity (OP 10)  Complete 2.00 / 2.00