Cal Poly Residential Community Awarded “Outstanding Sustainable Engineering Project” by ASCE San Luis Obispo Branch


San Luis Obispo, California, July 3, 2019 – yakʔitʸutʸu, Cal Poly SLO’s First-Year Residential Community, was awarded the “Outstanding Sustainable Engineering Project” by the ASCE San Luis Obispo Branch.

yakʔitʸutʸu is a large-scale student housing project at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Translated as “Our community” in the Northern Chumash Language, yakʔitʸutʸu honors the Central Coast’s native residents. Each of the seven residence halls is named after a local tribal site in their native language all while paying tribute through art, information panels, and tribal input.

The residential community includes 696 units which total 1,475 beds, study areas, large scale living rooms for 50 students or more, outdoor courtyards and circulation routes, a mailroom, recreation center, offices, admissions welcome center, and a food market. Outdoor spaces include a large lawn with an amphitheater and a courtyard with volleyball and basketball courts, natural features, gardens, contemplative spaces, and bike paths – all designed to support new students’ engagement in the Cal Poly experience.

This LEED Gold project includes a 1.1-megawatt solar system providing net zero energy consumption, low-flow shower heads for reduced water consumption, and Low Impact Development (LID) features for increased infiltration during rain events. As part of the LEED designation effort, LID features include ample bioretention areas to increase infiltration during storm events. These areas provide a teaching lab opportunity for Civil Engineering students to see how stormwater management facilities function and operate.