Chou Hall is a closed-loop system that focuses on reduce, reuse, redesign, re-earth, and recycle. As the greenest academic building in the nation—and the first certified zero waste academic building in the world—Chou Hall is the first drop in an ecosystem-wide ripple, that will become a wave, and eventually a tide of change.

Our path to TRUE Zero Waste

In 2017, Haas unveiled its newest building, Connie & Kevin Chou Hall, which was designed to achieve both LEED and WELL certifications. Both certifications are part of the U.S. Green Building Council portfolio.

In 2018—after years of collaborative infrastructural work—Chou Hall became the first academic building in the world to receive the TRUE Zero Waste certification.

Today, Chou Hall serves as a model for environmental sustainability at UC Berkeley and represents a critical step toward the University of California’s Zero Waste by 2020 and beyond and Carbon Neutrality by 2025 goals.

To learn more about the zero waste efforts at Chou Hall and Haas, you can view our comprehensive Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiative Report.

Chou Hall Zero Waste Initiative

Achieving zero waste in Chou Hall

No landfill generation

Everything generated in Chou Hall (including to-go ware at Cafe Think) is compostable or recyclable, and can be disposed of properly in the bins in the building.

Pack-in, Pack-out

Building users are asked to adopt a “Pack-In, Pack-Out” mentality. If they bring any landfill items into Chou Hall, they must bring them back out. These items may be disposed in large solar-powered waste compactors located near building entrances.

Zero waste events

Event caterers and hosts must adhere to a Zero Waste Guidelines and Events Checklist (Google Doc) to host events in Chou Hall’s cutting-edge Spieker Forum, or in any classroom or event space in the building.

Chou Hall by the Numbers


Average rate of diversion of waste from the landfill


Landfill bins
(other than in restrooms for hygiene products)


Number of Zero Waste buildings on UC Berkeley Campus.

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