Creating a Triple Net Zero Campus to Revitalize a Region

University of Texas at Brownsville, Brownsville, TX

The University of Texas at Brownsville draws upon the intersection of cultures and languages at the southern border and Gulf Coast of the United States to develop knowledgeable citizens and emerging leaders who are engaged in the civic life of their community. The visioning process led by CannonDesign reshaped the University’s Academic Plan to guide UTB to become a mission-focused, sustainably-minded research and teaching institution that directly addresses the regional challenges of economic vitality, environmental protection, and the health of its citizens. By promoting the interdisciplinary search for new knowledge that advances social and physical well-being, UTB will spur economic development while honoring the creative and environmental heritage of the region – in the process becoming a leading force to be “regionally focused and globally significant” and a model for other institutions to follow.

CannonDesign’s Master Plan shapes a 320 acre urban campus that is a pedestrian friendly, walkable community serving as a cultural center for the City of Brownsville. With a goal to be one of the nation’s first Triple Net Zero campuses, UTB is planned to be a leader in innovative sustainability initiatives and partnerships within the Rio Grande Valley, creating the opportunity for a regenerative impact across the entire region. In preserving the natural ecology and facilitating environmental learning and research, the campus will be a living laboratory.


Many of us look good because of the expertise that surrounds us. Each of you with CannonDesign has greatly contributed to our good work. Please know how grateful we all are.

Former UTB President Juliet Garcia, upon being recognized as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune magazine.

Performance Metrics

UTB is designed to become a Triple Net Zero Energy campus in Water, Waste, and Energy with the goal of using 56% Renewable; 14% Envelope; 20% HVAC; and 10% District Energy