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LEEDing the Way

UCSB and U.S. Green Building Council Can’t Get Enough of Each Other


UCSB made a vow. Actually it made two. In 2002, Chancellor Henry Yang announced that starting in 2004, all new buildings would meet LEED’s Silver criteria. Earlier this year, UCSB renewed that vow, adding that this time, they were going for Gold.

Since then, UCSB has been pursuing everything it can to win the approval of the U.S. Green Building Council, the organization that hands out LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certifications and thus sets the benchmark for high-performing and sustainable design. It appears that the Green Building Council is equally smitten with UCSB.

According to a press release issued on July 8, the council gave UCSB its seventh and eighth LEED certifications: a LEED Gold for the Engineering II building, submitted in the New Construction category; and a LEED Silver for the Life Sciences building—one of 25 existing buildings that UCSB hopes to certify by the end of 2012.

The Engineering II addition was completed earlier this year, measuring 20,000 square feet and providing classrooms, laboratory offices, and administrative offices for the Solid State Lighting and Energy Center. LEED’s assessment of the building showed water savings up to 40 percent, and noted the building’s use of local materials. Additionally, during construction, UCSB recycled 90 percent of the construction waste, according to the press release.

The Life Sciences Building, completed in 2003, measures 80,000 square feet, with a huge laboratory space, lecture hall, and research laboratories. The LEED assessment noted 29 percent water savings, waste minimization, natural lighting, and integration with the university’s chilled water loop, according to the press release.

Bruce Tiffney, dean of UCSB’s College of Creative Studies and cochair of the Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee, was quoted as declaring, “With continued effort, many more UCSB buildings will achieve similar certifications for both new and existing construction, underscoring UC Santa Barbara’s leadership in sustainable construction.”

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