The design of the USU includes numerous elements recommended by the LEED Rating System, such as the tempering of intake air for the HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning), control of storm water runoff through bioswales and olive groves, and extensive use of natural light. Also, water use reduction is achieved through low flush and flow, dual flush fixtures.
Some highlights of the sustainability effort are located on the roof of the USU. A 3000 square foot green roof has been incorporated into the outdoor dining space above the ballroom. The green roof consists of native vegetation that naturally cools the ballroom space. The roof on the wings of the USU incorporates a 100 Kw photovoltaic renewable energy system built on the conventional roof with SRI compliant roofing material.