California State University

Navae Vitae

Monterey Bay, CA

Project Type

Higher Education, Sports & Recreation


85,000 Square Feet

Design Services

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Sustainability


Winner of Architecture at Zero Competition

What if a building could capture energy with every step, and turn it into electricity that would power the facility? California State University at Monterey Bay (CSU-MB) set out to explore this when they hosted the Architecture at Zero Competition.

CSU-MB is the first university campus to register for the Living Community Challenge, becoming a model for how university campus design and planning can have a profound impact beyond campus boundaries. Little’s design of the Navae Vitae project responded to the University’s call for submissions in a net-zero energy design competition. The design concept optimizes the collection of renewable resources on site while supporting and enhancing the educational and physical activities taking place within.

Design Awards

  • AIA Orlando Award of Merit
  • Architecture at Zero Competition - Professional Category Winner
Resilient Design

The concept takes advantage of local climate to collect and produce energy and water, eliminating its carbon footprint and building resiliency.

The solar photovoltaic array on the trellis and sun tunnel skylights provide light and shade as needed. Even the paving of the ramp contributes energy to the grid. Sun and rain are captured across its expanses of rooftops; fog and wind are captured across the front façade producing energy and helping offset water consumption.