Kirsch Center

Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies

A Building that Teaches

Opened in September 2005, the Kirsch Center is the lead demonstration                             building for energy innovation and sustainability in the California Community                     College system, rated as the first community college LEED platinum building in the                   nation.

The Kirsch Center was conceived and is operated by De Anza faculty, staff and                            students, with the philosophy that this facility is "a building that teaches about                      energy, resources and stewardship."

Students, Staff, Faculty and Community Partners

The Kirsch Center was conceived, funded, designed and built through a collaborative effort.

  • The De Anza Associated Student Body (DASB) provided $180,000 for the building’s conceptual design,      
  • Steve and Michele Kirsch Foundation contributed $2 million toward construction.
  • The remainder of the $10-million project was paid for with local bond funds.
  • The Morgan Family Foundation gave $3 million to endow the Morgan Family Chair in Environmental Studies.

Today the building is a living teaching space for students to learn about environmental stewardship, pollution prevention, sustainability, energy and resource management, and teaming with the broader community to make a difference in many ways.

Energy Goals and Other Building Features

The area of the two-story building is approximately 22,000 gross square feet. At the time it was built, this project exemplified the next generation of educational innovation.


Parts of the building are potentially an around-the-clock, 24/7 facility.


In addition to high quality classrooms and labs, students can work in self-paced programs at special open study stations throughout the building.


Learn more about the energy goals and other building features that make the Kirsch Center a favorite place for students to learn about how to be part of the solution in building a sustainable society.

South side of Kirsch Center

New Direction
, a visionary song for the Kirsch Center

Listen to A New Direction, a collaborative song-writing effort by eight Kirsch Center visionaries, composed and performed by     Carl Villareal.


Click on a thumbnail image below to see the Kirsch Center photo gallery.



Kirsch Center view from north

Kirsch Center view from north

Kirsch Center view from north

Kirsch Center view from west

Kirsch Center view from south

Kirsch Center view from east

Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies
Building: KC 219
Phone: 408.864.5446



Last Updated: 10/19/15