ASU Student Pavilion – The Goal is (Net) Zero

ASU has a history and reputation of working tirelessly to reduce waste, use energy efficiently, and focus on sustainability not just on campus but the community in general.

In 2017 ASU added their most significant contribution to green and LEED construction by opening the doors on the Student Pavilion. The Pavilion stands as ASU’s first, and Arizona’s largest Net Zero Energy facility (NZE). An NZE certification is received when a building produces as much energy as it uses on an annual basis.

ASU Student Pavilion sign
ASU Student Pavilion

Kovach is proud and honored to have been a significant part of the team that brought this historical and monumental project to life.

The Student Pavilion is located at the heart of the university, nestled between the popular ASU Bookstore and historic Hayden Library. Inside the building you will find classrooms, offices, meeting spaces, and large conference halls. In addition to common energy efficient features like low-flow sinks and solar panels, the Student Pavilion utilizes modern advancements in green building like electrochromic glass and preparations for future use of “purple pipe” (ability to capture and reuse “greywater”).

Kovach’s contribution

As the exterior subcontractor on the job, Kovach was responsible for fabricating and installing the energy efficient glass curtainwall, copper metal panels, and limestone rainscreen.

Dynamic Glass

One of the most unique features of the Student Pavilion is the exterior electrochromic glass located at the lobby and first floor conference halls. Also ,known as “dynamic glass,” electrochromic glass can be tinted at the touch of a mobile app. In about 15 minutes the lobby glass can go from crystal clear to full-tint blocking 99% of visible light. At night the tint can be turned off and 15 minutes later it’s back to clear. Not only does the fully tinted glass significantly reduce energy consumption it also creates a more thermally and visually comfortable building. The dynamic glass systems installed at Student Pavilion were manufactured by View, Inc.

before dynamic glass
after dynamic glass

Copper Panels

The Student Pavilion exterior skin consists of over 30,000 square feet of various types of copper paneling. In addition to the unique and timeless aesthetics of copper it has great LEED qualities. There are three primary ways using copper on the exterior helped the project achieve NZE certification –

  1. Time tested – Copper is considered a noble metal which means it is resistant to corrosion and oxidation. These qualities make it very low maintenance and highly resilient to the tests of time.
  2. 100% recyclable – About 80% of commercial copper is recycled from previous use. Copper can continue to be recycled without any loss in strength which is a major boon to its accolades as a green product.
  3. Sunshades – Kovach fabricated and installed the copper sunshades used on the west elevation. As the name implies, sunshades block direct sunlight while still allowing some illumination into the building. These qualities are especially important in an extreme heat city like Tempe.
cooper panels on exterior of ASU student Pavlilion


One of the most visually striking elements of the Student Pavilion is the 9,000 square feet of mechanically attached limestone. Stone is abundant with qualities as a green building material such as little to no long-term maintenance, naturally sourced, free of synthetic ingredients, and recyclability. Limestone especially has a tremendous ability to moderate the temperature of a building, keeping it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

A mechanically attached stone rainscreen creates a small void between the back of the stone and the face of the building. This attachment system has two primary benefits assist in keeping the building cool–

  • The void allows for natural air flow to move between the stone and exterior walls
  • Since the stone is mechanically attached and not mortared less heat is transferred from direct sun exposure

With the rising need for LEED and NZE certified buildings Kovach has seen an increased demand for mechanically attached stone facades.

stone exterior

ASU – A leader and Partner

Kovach is very proud of the sustainability efforts and green projects we have been able to assist ASU with over the years. As a leader in the community, ASU continues to demonstrate how innovation and intentionality can drive change. Kovach looks forward to continuing our partnership with ASU on future NZE and LEED certified projects.

ASU Student Pavilion