San Diego State University Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union

  • Location:

    San Diego, California

  • Client:

    San Diego State University

  • Construction Value:


  • Delivery Method:


  • Year Completed:


  • Specialties:

    Higher Education, Sustainability

Features & Highlights

  • 80% recycled and reused materials
  • Uses 40% less energy and water than similar buildings
  • LEED Platinum®
Project Overview

San Diego State University needed a builder who could complete a historic renovation combined with today’s sustainable building practices. Sundt delivered both in this award-winning project. The Aztec Student Union is a classic Mission Revival design that pays tribute to SDSU’s rich history. The 206,000-square-foot building features expansive arches, arcades, balconies and courtyards. The building also includes a fitness center, bowling and games center, cafes, retail spaces, office spaces and meeting rooms.

Originally planned as a remodel, the team was able to provide the owner a historic look for the same cost as a remodel and with more modern features than originally planned. The team built the structure without any control or drift joints in the plaster system to achieve historical accuracy. To avoid the risks of cracks in the plaster exterior, we reinforced the building plaster by adding a fiber-mesh to the plaster mix and extending the cure time for the brown coat. A waterproof membrane was added beneath the plaster in addition to the standard lath paper to eliminate water from entering the building.

Sustainability was another key element to this project. The Aztec Student Union was the state’s first LEED Platinum® student center. Key green building features include:

  • recycled and reused materials,
  • solar panels,
  • rooftop vegetation garden,
  • underground water storage tanks to recycle water runoff from storms
  • radiant flooring system
  • pervious paving to reduce water runoffs and pollutants
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Working together in an extensive value-engineering process, Sundt, SDSU, and the project design team were able to reduce construction costs by well over $1 million.


Awards & Accolades

2015 AGC Build San Diego, Sustainability, AGC of America, San Diego Chapter

2014 Award of Excellence, Buildings/New Construction – Greater than $25 million, CMAA San Diego

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