Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Laura Seidman


Silicon Valley is the San Francisco Bay Area’s economic powerhouse and is herald for its innovation and success. However, Silicon Valley’s urban design is unsustainable and characterized by remote and large corporate campuses that contribute to job sprawl and heavy traffic congestion. Many of the buildings are also not performing at an efficient level and are due for deep overhauls to cut back energy consumption and costs. The inevitable effects of climate change continue to loom large over the world, heightening the importance for the built environment to be reformed into an environment that can mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. The standard template of the corporate campus is the antithesis of sustainability, and thus contributes to a region that is developing inefficiently and increasing the built environment’s carbon footprint. In this paper, current corporate campuses are evaluated to gauge their sustainability and to develop recommendations for improvement. The core issues found within the corporate campus model are locational and transportation issues, campus layout, and building design. It is suggested that campuses be redesigned to be more accessible by transit other than vehicles, be proximate to services and amenities, be pedestrian and bicyclist friendly, and have highly efficient building design. While the issues with the corporate campus are understood, many are still being developed inefficiently due to resistance within the company and local governments. Further research is required to determine how companies can best be encouraged to relocate or reform their corporate campuses and how local governments can be pushed to update policy and support Silicon Valley’s shift towards a more sustainable urban form.