Skip to main content
You are here

Campus named a Green Building Super Hero

By Dave Jones on October 31, 2013 in University

UC Davis is fighting for the environment as a Green Building Super Hero, as designated this week by the Northern California Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Tuesday night (Oct. 29), the chapter gave out five hero awards, including one for the UC system in the category of “sustainable neighborhood-campus.” The chapter further recognized the Davis and Berkeley campuses, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as “great examples of UC’s leadership in green building.”

The chapter called out two UC Davis projects in particular:

UC Davis West Village The largest planned zero-net energy community in the nation. To date, West Village comprises apartment complexes and a recreation center; the Sacramento City College Davis Center; and a village square surrounded by residential and commercial and office spaces.

Winery, brewery and food science laboratory The winery is the first in the world with the Green Building Council’s highest environmental rating: LEED Platinum (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The complex, located at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, attained the highest LEED score at any university.

The LEED platinum designation applies to the Teaching and Research Winery, and the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory. Next door, the Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building houses the technology needed to maximize the environmental capabilities of the winery, brewery and food-processing complex.

John Meyer, vice chancellor, Administrative and Resource Management, represented UC Davis at the Green Building Super Heroes Gala, while Nathan Brostrom, UC’s executive vice president for Business Operations, accepted the UC award.

“Our campuses are living laboratories for sustainable practices,” Brostrom said prior to the gala. “We’re tapping into our own leading-edge research in energy efficiency, renewable energy, biofuels and green construction to meet our ambitious sustainability targets.” Read the UC news release.

The Green Building Council’s Northern California Chapter described UC — with 10 campuses, 5,700 buildings and 130 million gross square feet of nearly every possible building type — as “a national and global leader in using its built environment as a living laboratory for sustainability solutions.”

“UC requires all new construction and large renovation projects to achieve LEED certification,” the council stated. “UC has received 140 LEED certifications, the most of any university in the country.”

UC Davis has 10 LEED certifications (five platinums and five golds):

New construction platinum

  • Student Community Center, 2013
  • Gladys Valley Hall (School of Veterinary Medicine), 2012
  • Gallagher Hall (Graduate School of Management) and the adjoining UC Davis Conference Center (one certification), 2011
  • Winery, brewery and food science laboratory, 2011
  • Tahoe Environmental Research Center, 2007

New construction gold

  • Health and Wellness Center, 2012
  • Tercero student housing, Phase 2 (Campbell, Potter and Wall halls), 2011

Commercial interiors gold

  • Coffee House, 2012
  • Robbins Hall, Phase 1, 2012
  • Cuarto Dining Commons, 2011

In addition, UC Davis is in the final stages of gaining LEED certification for five existing buildings (430,130 gross square feet). The certifications are expected by year’s end for Hutchinson Hall, Geidt Hall, Math Sciences Building, Mrak Hall and Science Lab Building.

‘Going green saves money’

“UC has also demonstrated that going green saves money,” according to the Green Building Council’s Northern California Chapter. “Through a first-of-its-kind energy efficiency partnership with the investor-owned utilities and the California State University system, UC has implemented energy efficiency projects since 2004 that have avoided more than $100 million in utility costs.”

In March 2013, UC Davis estimated annual savings of $4.6 million in energy costs, after 110 conservation projects in 65 buildings.

The Green Building Council’s Northern California Chapter also noted: “Always looking forward, by 2020 UC has committed to zero waste, to reducing greenhouse gases by 50 percent, to reducing water consumption by 20 percent and to increasing sustainable food purchases to 20 percent. After 2020, UC has committed to achieving carbon neutrality as soon as possible.”


Sustainability at UC

Sustainable 2nd Century (at UC Davis)

Green Building Super Heroes 2013

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,