UC Davis' sustainability efforts merited two best practices awards in this year's competition among the state's three public institutions of higher learning: UC, California State University and California Community College.

The awards were presented during the eighth annual UC, CSU, CCC Sustainability Conference, held June 21-24 at UC Santa Barbara.

UC Davis' awards came in the Higher Education Energy Efficiency Partnership Program:

Overall sustainable design, in new construction — For the Veterinary Medicine 3B project and its use of building information modeling to apply low-energy designs and reduce square footage. The conference program included a talk by Bill Starr, senior project manager with Architects and Engineers, about this project.

Lighting design and retrofit — Chris Cioni, associate director, Utilities Office, outlined the campus's lighting efforts. Ardie Dehghani, director of engineering, Architects and Engineers, served as moderator for this session.

This year's conference, with the theme “Working Our Way to Zero,” included seminars and presentations on such topics such as energy efficiency for medical centers and labs, sustainable food programs, equitable housing and development practices, and bold new initiatives to reach carbon neutrality and zero waste.

Other panels with UC Davis participation:

Dining service operations — James Boushka, marketing director, University Dining Services.

Green building, new construction — Roger Boulton, Stephen Sinclair Scott Professor of Enology and Chemical Engineering, in the Department of Viticulture and Enology, talked about development of the university’s new winery-brewery. The program for this session also included Gary Dahl, director of project management, Architects and Engineers.

Climate action planning — With moderator John Meyer, vice chancellor in charge of the Office of Resource Management and Planning.

Closed loop procurement — About the purchase of various products and materials — and deciding what to buy only after taking into account their entire life cycles. Among the speakers: Tenise Bell, doctoral candidate, Division of Textiles and Clothing.

Transportation — Students are due to report on their research into commuter behavior, transportation decision-making, and the culture and community of bicycling. UC Davis speakers: doctoral candidate Kristin Lovejoy, Transportation, Technology and Policy Program; and doctoral student Chris Congleton, Institute of Transportation Studies.

Emerging technologies (water) — With Julianne Nola, senior project manager, Architects and Engineers; David Block, professor and vice chair, Department of Viticulture and Enology, and professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science; and Josiah Raison Cain, landscape architect and adjunct professor, Landscape Architecture Program.

Also, R4 Recycling manager Lin King talked about zero-waste events at UC Davis. This effort goes along with the UC system’s goal of producing zero waste by 2020 — meaning hopes to recycle or compost 100 percent of its municipal solid waste.

UC also has committed to aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and was a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Each UC campus has pledged to reduce its emissions according to the following schedule: year-2000 levels by 2014, and 1990 levels by 2020. The campuses also have pledged to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible.

Such efforts are already producing results. For example, the Sierra Club’s Sierra magazine has recognized the UC system as being the greenest public university and “in a league of its own” for the systemwide impact of the university’s sustainability initiatives.

Statewide, UC has 23 LEED-certified buildings — with LEED standing for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a certification system established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The highest LEED designation is platinum, and the UC system boasts two such buildings, including UC Davis’ Tahoe Environmental Research Center.
Green conference

Conference organizers are taking a comprehensive approach to putting on a green event, in the areas of recycling, transportation, catering and conferencing technology.

On the Net

UC, CSU, CCC Sustainability Conference

UC sustainability

UC’s LEED-certified buildings

UC Davis sustainability

American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment