UC Merced set out and achieved the bold initiative of becoming the first LEED certified campus in the United States. Founded in 2005 as the tenth (and newest) university in the University of California (UC) system, most campus activities occurred in the Leo & Dottie Kolligian Library during the first semester as many of the old buildings were not yet completed. The building is more than a traditional library, serving multiple functions including: the main library, student union, administrative offices, and technology services.
Located in the hot Central Valley, the building looked to reduce solar heat gain with thoughtfully designed sun-mitigation strategies such as deep-recessed and louver-shaded facades. The performance of the building envelope helps control energy consumption while still providing views to the campus and landscape beyond. The forward-thinking design has led the building itself to LEED Gold certification.