News & Information

The WELL is turning LEED into gold


Sacramento State’s recreation and wellness center – The WELL – has been awarded LEED Gold certification for achieving environmental goals such as energy efficiency and recycling.

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – is part of the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council and is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Designations start at Certified and go up to Silver, Gold and Platinum.

The 151,000-square-foot WELL opened Sept. 2, 2010, and combines fitness offerings such as weight and cardio machines, basketball courts and rock climbing with a full-service health center in one comprehensive program.
The building incorporates a number of environmental and energy-saving elements in its design.

•    The entrance atrium has a 40-foot-wide skylight made of a special material that helps regulate building temperature.
•    The building’s north-south orientation ensures that the main entrances will not be exposed to direct sunlight.
•    The green bits in the terrazzo floor are crushed beer bottles.
•    Multiple windows and skylights eliminate the need for artificial lighting during the day.
•    The primary ingredient in the gymnasium walls is sunflower seeds.

“Sacramento State students did a tremendous job working with the architects in designing The WELL to maximize its sustainability and energy efficiency,” says University President Alexander Gonzalez. “Its features demonstrate that utility and efficiency can go hand-in-hand.”

“We promised to create a campus-centered, sustainable facility and we have done just that,” says Leslie Davis, executive director of The WELL and University Union. “It was the work of the entire team – students, staff, campus administration, architects, project managers – that contributed to this great achievement.”

The WELL was designed by lead architect Hornberger + Worstell and associate architect Ellerbe Becket Inc. Construction manager at risk and general contractor was McCarthy Building Cos., and Tony Moayed Construction Services Inc. was the construction manager and inspector of record.

“As the newest member of the LEED family of green buildings, Sacramento State’s WELL is an important addition to the growing strength of the green building movement,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, U.S Green Building Council.

This isn’t the first recognition of The WELL’s green efforts. SMUD officials presented the University with a $75,572 check April 22 in recognition of the facility’s energy efficiency.

For more information on The WELL, visit For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.