Additional Details on Tercero 4 and Sustainability

Two resident advisors in a resident hall room
Rooms in the Tercero 4 residence halls use smart thermostats with infrared technology to adjust cooling when the room is vacant. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The design/build team for the complex was Brown Construction of West Sacramento and Mogavero Architects of Sacramento. The complex is 166,335 gross square feet.

Cottonwood Hall — This hall is home to some 200 students in single to triple rooms. It also includes the game, music and meditation/wellness rooms. The game room has a large-screen television; three video-game stations; and game tables for ping-pong, foosball, air hockey and shuffleboard. The building is named for Fremont’s cottonwood. The large, deciduous trees have deeply fissured bark and seeds that blow about in small, cottony puffs in the spring. They are found in natural stands along the UC Davis Arboretum waterway and Putah Creek.

Madrone Hall — This building houses about 200 students in single to triple rooms and includes Student Housing and Dining Services offices. It is named for the evergreen that has sprays of urn-shaped flowers in the spring and showy red berries in the autumn. The trees can be found in the arboretum.

Redwood Hall — This hall accommodates approximately 200 students in single to triple rooms. It is named for the coast redwood, one of tallest tree species on earth and one of California’s state trees; there are more than 600 on campus including the T. Elliot Weier Redwood Grove in the arboretum.

Olive Hall — The demonstration kitchen in this community building will be used to offer nutrition and cooking classes as well as to support special events. Home to olive trees, UC Davis began harvesting olives and pressing them into oil — a quintessential campus souvenir — more than a decade ago. The UC Davis Olive Center is a leader in olive and olive oil research.


The complex is a LEED-registered project, with a certification goal of LEED Gold under the LEED-Building Design and Construction rating system. Compared with baseline construction, it exceeds the state’s Title 24 requirements for energy efficiency by about 30 percent, reduces inside water consumption by 34 percent and requires 50 percent less water for landscaping.

The complex taps into a condensing system — first used with the Tercero 3 complex — that uses water vapor from the campus steam plant to help heat the buildings and their water supply. Other green features include:

  • white roofs to reflect heat
  • sunshades on the exterior of some windows
  • the use of low-VOC materials and a green cleaning program for healthy indoor air
  • smart thermostats with infrared technology to adjust cooling when a room is vacant
  • task lighting with compact florescent bulbs
  • compost collection bins in all common areas

The site is designed to improve stormwater management. Landscaping includes hardscapes with solar reflecting properties to prevent heat gain, native and adaptive plants, and smart irrigation to reduce water use by 50 percent from baseline.

Media Resources

Julia Ann Easley, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-752-8248,

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