LMU Student Housing is committed to making our residential facilities sustainable and we continually work to find ways to make our buildings green.

Below is an overview of our sustainability efforts, an overview of our compost program, locations of our water refill stations, as well as our Student Housing Sustainable Purchasing Policy.

Check-out GreenLMU for more information on University wide sustainability efforts!

Student Housing Sustainability Facts

  • All showers and sinks have low-flow aerators (1.5 gallons/minute).
  • All toilets in our apartments and suites are low-flow (1.6 gallons/flush).
  • In 2014 we completed our 2-phase landscaping project in the first-year area that reduced water use by 75%‌.

LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

In the United States, buildings account for 36% of total energy use, 65% of electricity consumption, 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, 30% or raw material use, 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually), and 12% of potable water consumption. As a result of the tremendous impacts buildings have on our environment, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed a voluntary national certification program for constructing high-performance, sustainable buildings titled LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). While these design guidelines are rapidly being adopted within a variety of industries, higher education is leading the way.

When viewed over the 50-year or longer expected life of the building, complex green building systems and technologies provide significant direct cost savings. Future operations and maintenance costs are considered when examining initial construction costs. Such life-cycle cost analysis incorporates savings estimates from Operations & Maintenance budgets and are considered as part of the capital projects budget and incorporated into the more traditional cost-per-square-foot calculations.

While it is difficult to measure exact financial impacts of health and productivity costs, some relevant attributes are common in green buildings which promote healthier indoor environments. Less toxic materials such as adhesives and sealants, paints, carpets, composite woods, and chemical & pollutant source control combine with better lighting quality and better ventilation to offer a healthier environment for staff and students alike.

Loyola Marymount University has a long-standing tradition of environmental responsibility, and in keeping with this tradition is committed to a built environment which reflects its concern for human and environmental health. Current LEED-certified buildings include Del Rey North and South (above left), and Leavey 5 and 6 (above right).

Solar Thermal

Solar thermal energy is a technology for harnessing solar energy for heating. LMU currently has solar thermal arrays on four residential dormitories on campus: McKay, Desmond, Rosecrans, and Whelan Halls. The arrays collect solar energy which is then processed through heat exchangers and used for domestic hot water needs. Currently LMU is looking to upgrade its current system to a more efficient array using the latest technology, and expand its coverage to include additional residence halls, supplementing the university's hot-water system and providing heating for the swimming pool.


All students living in Hannon and Tenderich apartments are provided the opportunity to compost. 

Why recycle food waste?

Organic waste is an extremely important piece of the framework to address environmental issues. LMU recognizes this and strives towards reducing our eco-footprint through an Organic waste diversion program. In a time when carbon emissions are altering our climate and pollution is damaging our land, air, and water quality, we want to do our part to educate and reduce our impact. Picking up and shipping food waste long distances to a landfill burn fossil fuels and creates high cost for the University in the form of trash hauling fees. Organic waste has a high percentage of water weight that further consumes fuel and energy to transport. While it decomposes in a landfill, Organic waste generates significant levels of methane. Methane production contributes approximately 25 times more to heat trapping in our atmosphere than C02 alone. Landfills can also leach harmful chemicals into the soil that can impact ground water. Continuing taxing our urban disposal infrastructure with Organic waste can increase this problem as landfills move ever-closer to full capacity. Organic waste has the potential to create a perfect natural and nutritional amendment for soil additive and/or facilitate the creation of Bio-Products. LMU’s Organic waste diversion systems are key components in reducing our environmental impact, while capitalizing on the value of Organic waste that would otherwise be lost.

What to put into the machine:

Any organic food waste. Organic food waste is food that has expired, does not meet desired food specifications for human consumption, process foods or foods that would normally be thrown away in the tr ash. This includes any edible fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy, fish and meat.

What NOT to put in the machine:

Glass, plastic, bottles, jars, cans, silverware, any metal, pans, wood, towels, scrub pads, large meat bones. These items will damage the equipment.

Where does the food waste go?

Resident’s kitchen => Food waste pail => Communal collection bin => Somat machine for 14-15 hours => Bioproduct amendment bulking ingredient => Imperial Western Products => Incorporated in various bioproducts such as soil amendment, animal feed, biofuels => These bioproducts may be used to grow new food or transport it to consumers (this closes the system).

Water Refill Stations

Drinking Water Refill Stations are located in the following common areas:

  • Del Rey North lounge
  • Del Rey South lounge
  • Leavey  5 entrance
  • Leavey 6 entrance
  • McCarthy Lobby
  • McKay 1st floor
  • McKay 2nd floor
  • McKay breezeway
  • MCarthy lobby

Student Housing Sustainable Purchasing Policy

I. Policy

As part of ongoing efforts to make Loyola Marymount University a healthy place to learn, live, work and do business, the Student Housing Office will work to the extent possible to purchase supplies, equipment, materials, goods and services that are recyclable, made of recycled content, reduce waste, and promote energy efficiency.

II. Purpose

To provide guidelines for purchasing activities, to maximize the purchase of recycled content products that is recyclable and reduce waste, where performance will not be compromised.

Businesses generate significant amounts of waste, much of which can be reduced through the use of reusable products, the implementation of recycling and careful waste segregation. Buying products with recycled content also helps create a market for these materials and drives their prices down.

In complying with this, Loyola Marymount University will request that suppliers identify and integrate whether there is an alternative product that has recycled content or is recyclable that could be substituted. 

III. Guidelines

1. Purchasing Department

In an effort to minimize waste, staff involved in purchasing decisions shall adhere to the guidelines set forth in this policy when making purchasing decisions. The Business and Finance Division will participate in establishing goals and support to increase the number of recyclable products or products that are made of recycled content used by Campus Departments.

2. Department Managers and End Users

Individuals in all departments must work within the purchasing framework and LMU Green Initiatives to evaluate the feasibility of recyclable products, products that are made of recycled content and products that reduce waste in application.

Whenever possible the use of equipment and products that are recyclable, made of recycled content and/or reduce waste should be maximized. These products should be purchased whenever such alternatives exist and performance is not compromised.
Vendors should be contacted and provided information regarding [Business Name]’s waste minimization goals.

3. Vendors and Contractors

Select those vendors who are willing to meet waste minimization goals, minimize their Green House Gas Footprint

Purchasing agents shall request from vendors information relating to recycled content and recyclability of products and equipment, and the opportunities these items offer to prevent waste.

Purchasing agents will then develop a preferred list of vendors based on those who are willing to help provide such alternatives.

Governing Resources Definitions

Recycled Content:

  • Products contain recycled content that meet or exceed the California State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign requirements.
  • Products contain recycled content that meet or exceed the guidelines in the US EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines, if higher than SABRC requirements.
  • Products contain recycled content as recommended in the Buying Green Guide.

Energy and Water:

  • Products are Energy Star certified, if a US EPA Energy Star certification is available, or products that are in the upper 25 percent of energy efficiency as designated by the Federal Energy Management Program.
  • Products are Water Sense certified, if a US EPA Water Sense certification is available.