Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability

Faculty and Student Project Highlights

  • Cascadia Center

    When the world's greenest office building opens in March 2013, Seattle University students will be there. The Bullitt Foundation’s Cascadia Center ( addresses the Living Building Challenge ( and will be a zero-net-energy and zero-net-water facility. The six story building is covered in solar panels, so even in rainy Seattle, it will produce more energy than it uses on an average day. The 55,000 gallon storage tank in the basement of the building will collect rain water to meet tenant water demands, and most of the building’s waste will be processed on-site. This includes grey water from sinks and showers which will be treated in a third-story wetland treatment system. Under the supervision of Professor Phillip Thompson, SU students will be evaluating the performance of the treatment system by verifying that the treated water complies with the Washington State Department of Health’s water quality requirements. Performance data for all of the building’s systems will be published and shared with architects and engineers around the world who are developing similar sustainable facilities.

    Environmental Justice Book Released in March -- Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation

    by Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda (Author)

    "This is a grand prophetic book motivated by love and focused on justice – social justice, ecological justice and dignity for "the least of these." Don't miss it!" 
    - Cornel West
    Princeton University 

    "This is great….We badly need new doors into the greatest set of problems humans have ever faced. This prayerful amalgamation of deep concern for social justice and a healthy mystic sense of what might inspire it—it's a blend that could provide great help."
    -Bill McKibben
    Leading American environmentalist, author, and journalist
    Schumann Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Middlebury College

    Organic Urban Farm Project Delivers

    An innovative urban agriculture project, spearheaded by Seattle University’s Environmental Studies program, is helping to put fresh produce on the table for families in need in the Puget Sound region. The aptly named Urban Farm, located on a portion of King County's South Wastewater Treatment Plant, was created on unused land with the support of a $100,000 grant from Wells Fargo. 

    After the area was cleared of debris and fortified with nutrient-rich soils, the first crop of fruits and vegetables were planted in January 2011. In its first year, the farm generated nearly 7,000 pounds of produce for area food banks. That number doubled by the end of 2012.

    Check out the video on this innovative urban agriculture project and learn more here

    Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Projects: Electric Cars and Hydropower

    Senior Design Team ECE13-2 videolog

    The goal of this electrical and computer engineering senior design project is to create an electric vehicle and find ways to improve on the current design of the Zap car. The Xebra Zap is an electric car capable of 40 mph and 40 miles per charge.

    Senior Design Team - ECE 13-5 Videolog

    A Senior Design Projects focused on humanitarian work in Zambia. The focus has been to deliver energy resources to rural areas in southern Africa.