UC Santa Barbara

April 28th - May 1st, 2021: Climate Justice Symposium for Transforming Education; July 2021 CHESC

Past Award Winners

Overall Sustainable Design

UC Berkeley, Maximino Martinez Commons

UC Berkeley’s Maximino Martinez Commons, student housing with both apartments and residence hall rooms, demonstrates exemplary integration of design principles with the building’s purpose. Although located in an urban setting, the project reinforces a sense of community with indoor communal spaces and several courtyards landscaped with native and drought-resistant plants. The building takes advantage of the Bay Area’s temperate climate through natural ventilation, and a narrow floor plate maximizes daylighting. As a residential building, half of the energy use is attributed to hot water demand. Sixty-five percent of this demand is met with an onsite solar-hot water system. These energy-saving measures, along with high-efficiency plumbing and sustainable building materials, enable the building to strive for LEED Gold.

CSU Fullerton, Student Housing Phase III

Coming in at the estimated budget and three months ahead of schedule, CSU Fullerton’s Student Housing Phase III project added nearly 345,000 square feet to an established college, including five residence halls and a dining hall/community services building. It is the first LEED platinum building on the campus and surpasses the California Building Code Energy Efficiency Standards by 42%. The project also includes considerable water savings with native, drought resistant plants, drip and subsurface irrigation, and water-conserving plumbing fixtures. Featuring a dynamic landscape with re-planted trees from the original site and central courtyard, this project provides a landmark gathering place for the entire student body and encourages formal and informal social interactions at all scales.

HVAC Design/Retrofit

CSU Stanislaus, Chilled and Hot Water Distribution Systems and Central Plan Optimization

CSU Stanislaus investigated, evaluated and implemented measures to optimize the performance of the campus chilled and hot water distribution systems and the chiller plants and to address operational issues and reduce energy usage. Prior to the project, a low temperature differential across the campus loop caused excessive quantities of water to be pumped throughout the campus, consuming large amounts of energy. Savings from the project were primarily attained by re-configuring the central plant, which increased the campus temperature differential and reduced pumping energy consumption, as well as from optimizing the operation of the secondary chilled water pumps and cooling towers at each chiller plant. The project is estimated to save 214,000 kilowatt hours and $39,000 annually.

UC San Diego, Pacific Hall: Deep Energy Savings in a Fume Hood Intensive Lab Building

UC San Diego’s Pacific Hall, a fume-hood intensive chemistry and biology lab building, underwent a major retrofit in which HVAC systems throughout the building were converted from constant volume reheat to variable air volume (VAV) reheat. This was achieved through the use of occupancy sensors, fume hood sash height sensors, variable speed drives, and an upgraded DDC control system. In order to optimize the new VAV system operation and maximize energy savings, the supply ductwork and air handlers were sealed internally. The project is estimated to save over $800,000 annually. To ensure that these savings will remain in the future, ongoing commissioning software was installed in the building, which will continuously track the building’s energy use and outdoor air temperature, compare the building’s current usage to its baseline, and notify campus energy managers when the usage has increased.

(Honorable Mention) UC San Francisco, Moffit/Long Chilled Water System Retrofit

UC San Francisco conducted a major retrofit of the chilled water system serving its Moffitt and Long Hospitals. The retrofit replaced the system’s aging single-stage absorption chillers to state-of-the-art, electric VFD-driven centrifugal chillers. It also converted the constant-volume, primary-only chilled-water pumping system to a variable-speed primary loop serving independent variable-speed secondary loops dedicated to each hospital; and converted the largest chilled water coil cooling valves from 3-way to 2-way flow to minimize chilled water bypass, improve system capacity through increased supply/return temperature differential, and reduce pumping energy requirements. The project is estimated to save almost $1.5 million annually, from reductions in electricity, steam, maintenance, water and sewage, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Lighting Design/Retrofit

UC Davis, Institutional-Level Adaptive Controls for Exterior Lighting

UC Davis’ Institutional-Level Adaptive Controls for Exterior Lighting utilize a networked control system, occupancy sensors and dimmable LED luminaires campuswide. The project bridged market gaps between lighting, sensor and control manufacturers to integrate the products with desired functionality. The networked control system utilizes radio frequency communication to integrate roadway and pathway fixtures, post tops and wall packs into one interface which allows for dynamic light level adjustments, utility grade power monitoring and emerging functionality such as ‘Direction of Travel’, which allows lights to brighten in front of an approaching occupant. A post-occupancy survey confirmed that users maintained a sense of security at low power levels. The project is estimated to save the campus one million kilowatt hours and $100,000 annually

CSU Fullerton, Campus-Wide Lighting Project

CSU Fullerton’s Campus-wide Lighting Project upgraded post-top, parking structure, wallpack, and stairwell luminaires to LEDs and replaced indoor 32-watt T8 fixtures with long-lasting 25-watt T8 lamps. The project also introduced the campus to advanced exterior lighting controls. A secured intranet web-based interface allows staff to control all exterior pedestrian and roadway pole fixtures on their iPads. Facilities management worked closely with campus electricians and manufacturers to design the fixtures, enabling these new, innovative products to be introduced into the market. The project is estimated to save the campus 3.3 million kilowatt hours and $445,000 dollars annually.

Montitoring-Based Commissioning

CSU Long Beach, University Music Center

CSU Long Beach’s University Music Center is one of five campus buildings that performed MBCx simultaneously over the last two years. A number of operating deficiencies were identified and corrected, including repairing dampers, replacing stuck valves, replacing sensors and adjusting control parameters. The building now provides superior comfort while using less energy. Savings of 7% of the electricity use, 66% of the chilled water supplied to the building for air conditioning and 72% of the natural gas for space heating were measured with the newly installed meters, with a simple payback under 4 years. The MBCx commissioner, EnerNOC, provided comprehensive operation manuals and trained the building operations staff in how to maintain the performance of the building. Automatic filters will flag problems in the future, before they can waste significant energy. Hence, the campus will maintain these significant savings for years to come.

UC Santa Cruz, Earth and Marine Sciences Building

At UC Santa Cruz’s Earth and Marine Sciences Building, a new web based energy management system was installed to upgrade control of all building systems. This commissioning effort ensured that the new controls are used to implement the most efficient strategies (demand based ventilation and scheduling). The new metering verified that significant energy savings were achieved, measured at 14% of the electricity use and 21% of the gas use of the building, with a simple payback under 3 years. The monitoring left in place will help maintain this performance and savings for years to come through trending, fault diagnostics, and alarming. The campus executed this work without the assistance of an outside commissioning agent so the building operations staff has special ownership of the building performance, with knowledge that will translate into persistent savings.

Student Energy Efficiency

UC Berkeley, Fight the Flow

UC Berkeley’s Fight the Flow is an excellent example of how saving water can also result in significant energy savings. UCB PowerSave interns installed 124 UZLOW shower valves in two of their residence halls and conducted ongoing campaign to residents to educate them on how to use the valve and its potential savings. When in use, the UZLOW valve reduces both water consumption and the natural gas used to heat water by decreasing hot water flow when shampooing, shaving, or soaping up. From 1990 to 2009 the UC Berkeley residence halls displayed a 10% increase in water usage; however, the 570,000 gallons of annual water saved by Fight the Flow returned the building’s usage to 1991 levels in less than one year. These water savings translate to 950 therms in annual energy savings. The Fight the Flow campaign was so successful that it is being expanded to another residence hall and a university family housing complex.

San Diego State University, Lighting Efficiency Campaign

SDSU’s lighting efficiency campaign educated students, faculty and administration on the importance of continuing to support energy efficiency projects, while at the same time saving hundreds of thousands of dollars for the University. SDSU’s PowerSave interns received grants from San Diego Gas and Electric and Energy Technology Assistance Program to replace fluorescent T8 bulbs to LEDs with bi-level capabilities in four university parking lots. The interns educated key campus administration divisions on the retrofits and the importance energy efficiency by giving presentations and conducting energy audits. Additionally, almost 1000 students and faculty were educated through presentations in the classroom. Not only are these initiatives estimated to save the campus 200,000 kilowatt hours annually, they have established campus-wide support for future energy efficiency projects.

Student Sustainability Program

Cal Poly Pomona, Sustainability Course Guide

In response to overwhelming student demand, Cal Poly Pamona’s Sustainability Course Guide was created as a resource for students seeking to integrate environmentally sustainable concepts, theories and practices into their college education; and ultimately to apply this knowledge on campus and in their future workplace. Created by PowerSave Interns, the online guide covers sustainability-focused and sustainability-related courses from all academic departments. Interns ensure that the guide stays relevant by updating it quarterly and maximize its exposure by working with departments to advertise it on their websites. In the first three months of its release, the course guide has already had 700 views.

UC San Diego, Thrifting Trunk Show

UCSD’s Thrifting Trunk Show is notable for the impressive scale and level of student engagement it accomplished on a zero-dollar budget. The students from the Sustainability Program Office partnered with campus fashion magazines to organize an event that brought local thrift stores onto campus to market their items as an alternative to shopping for new clothes and accessories. Over 700 students attended the event and approximately 700 items were sold. The project was such a success because the event organizers focused on making it fashionable – they picked out the trendy clothes that would be sold at the event and organized a fashion show with items provided by the vendors. Although the project was first intended to be a one-time program, it was so successful that it has become a regularly occurring event on campus.

Water Efficiency & Site Water Quality

UC Santa Barbara, Water Action Plan

Press Release

UC Santa Barbara’s Water Action Plan (WAP) determines the historical and current campus water use in order to understand water use trends over time, identifies and assess potential water reduction strategies that could enable future water savings, and recommends the most promising strategies for the campus to deploy in order to minimize future water use. The WAP was also constructed with transferability in mind, having been designed to allow other universities to utilize it as a template for their own water management document. The Plan’s 15-year planning horizon and ability to address water supply concerns campuswide will allow the campus to achieve real water savings while meeting the needs of future water users.

Innovative Waste Reduction

UC Merced, Green Container Initiative

The Green Container Initiative has enabled UC Merced to eliminate disposables from the dining commons. Takeout orders are now offered in reusable containers, which customers purchase at the point of sale using their student meal card. Containers are sold back to Dining Services through the OZZI machine. The OZZI scans a barcode located on the bottom of the container, deposits the container into the machines collection bin, and reimburses the student’s meal card. UC Merced is currently the only known campus that has linked up the OZZI machine to their student meal cards. Once collected by the OZZI, the containers are washed and sanitized by the dining staff. There are currently three OZZI machines on campus and a plan to install two more in the near future.

Sustainable Foods Service

UC Berkeley, LeanPath

UC Berkeley’s LeanPath pre-consumer waste reduction system is a significant technological advance in the measurement of food waste. The program allows foodservice employees to use the LeanPath scale and touch-screen terminal to weigh and log information on food waste before discarding it. The tracker requests the following data: employee identification, food item, loss reason, container, service area, scale number, site name. Once a sufficient amount of data has been aggregated, the program provides Cal Dining operations with a summary of the recorded information. Each dining hall team uses the summaries to pinpoint five food categories with the highest disposal volume and discusses strategies to reduce food waste in these areas. The program has enabled Cal Dining to cut down their pre-consumer food waste by 33% so far.

Sustainability Innovations

CSU Monterey Bay, TRIPWise and Transportation on and to/from the CSUMB Campus

CSU Monterey Bay’s TRIPWise is a comprehensive program that provides alternative transportation solutions from all angles and brands them under one name. Over the past two years, the program has vastly increased the biking infrastructure of the campus and surrounding community by building a secure bicycle storage garage and establishing 3.8 miles of bicycle boulevards. This was complemented with a community bike map highlighting best biking routes to important destinations. The program has increased the number of bus lines that serve the campus from one to four and established free ridership for all CSUMB students, faculty, and staff. In addition, the program conducted an analysis that identified the most appropriate locations for electric vehicles charging stations and has already installed two sites on campus. These initiatives and many more were carried out with no budget, and resources were obtained through grants, regional agreements, and student engagement.

UC Santa Cruz, College Dorm Bi-Level Stairwell Lighting Retrofit and Green Revolving Loan Fund

UC Santa Cruz used their dorm stairwell bi-level lighting retrofit as a pilot project to establish their green-revolving loan fund (GRLF). Before the retrofit, an energy audit and data analysis were conducted to establish a baseline and ensure a quick payback period. This was critical to establishing the GRLF, as hesitant administration were able to see the quantifiable monetary savings. The initial funding for the project came from the Carbon Initiative Fund, under the condition that savings from the retrofit would be used to establish a GRLF. By bringing together stakeholders from Physical Plant, Planning and Budget Department, the Sustainability Office, and Housing, the student leaders of the project were able ensure that electricity savings from the project would not be automatically routed back into campus maintenance, but instead could be used to establish the GRLF. The money in the GRLF can then be used to finance future energy efficiency projects.

Communicating Sustainability

UC Davis, UC Davis Cool School Awareness Program

The University of California, Davis won national recognition from The Sierra Club for their environmental sustainability efforts. Designated the “#1 Cool School” for 2012-13, UC Davis’s Sustainability and Communication Offices partnered up to maximize the communication opportunities presented by the accolade. They developed a branding toolkit and outreach campaign that increased awareness of the #1 ranking and campus sustainability efforts among students, faculty, staff and the general public, encouraged audiences to adopt and continue sustainable practices, and generated school pride around the ranking. They then partnered up with many various campus events and programs to spread the word to a wide audience.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Sustainability Educational Outreach

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Sustainability Educational Outreach is composed of several complementing initiatives. Facilties Services created and maintains a universitywide sustainability website encompassing guiding principles, curriculum, research, planning, design and construction, campus operations, student activities, metrics, events, and case studies. Every other year the department also publishes a full color, glossy progress report on sustainability designed to communicate to the campus and surrounding community, peer institutions, and regional and state leaders. Cal Poly has two sustainability mascots that help bring sustainability efforts to life – Mr. Eco and Poly the Polar Bear. Through rap music, “Mr. Eco” educates and inspires students of all ages to consider the impact of their actions on the global environment. Poly the Polar bear engages students to participate in the campus energy competitions by educating them on the effects of climate change.

CCC Board of Governors’ Sustainability Awards

Excellence in Energy & Sustainability

District Leadership Award

Victor Valley Community College District Sustainability Program (Winner)

The district leadership made a resource and financial commitment in 2010 to create a comprehensive sustainability program to reduce its dependency on utilities and reduce future expenditures.

Sustainability projects included a one-megawatt solar array on the main campus, a 250 kilowatt (kW) solar parking lot system at the new Public Safety Training Center, and two new 200 kW systems at the main campus. The district also completed a campus sustainable landscaping project in December 2011 by removing 21,000 square feet of turf and replacing it with drought-tolerant landscaping that will save an estimated 865,634 gallons of water per year.

Also in 2011, the district entered into an agreement with Compass Energy Solutions to complete a series of energy efficiency upgrades to the main campus. These upgrades were completed under Government Code 4217, allowing the district to use an energy service provider to complete the work. These projects consist of replacing old, inefficient outdoor lighting fixtures with new energy-efficient lighting throughout the main campus. This portion of the project was an Associated Student Body 2010 goal. The students were involved in the lighting project to help identify areas on campus that needed better lighting for increased safety and energy savings. This work was completed in 2012.

The district also participated in the California Community Colleges and Investor Owned Utility Energy Efficiency Partnership by working with Southern California Edison to install plug-load controls and install power management software on 2,100 computers throughout campus. The district is requiring the design and construction of its New Science Health facility to participate in the Southern California Edison “Savings by Design” program, which can possibly earn the college $200,000 in incentives.

MiraCosta CCD: District wide Sustainability Advisory Committee (Honorable Mention)

In 2010 MiraCosta College launched comprehensive master planning effort. This vision was reinforced with the adoption of the district’s new institutional strategic goals that were formulated in the educational planning process. One Strategic Goal and Objectives were specifically focused on developing strategies and an implementation plan to establish model environmental sustainable practices. In order to ensure the district would be able to accomplish these objectives, a Sustainability Advisory Committee established by the Superintendent/President in January 2011. This committee worked to quickly establish the first ever MiraCosta College District BP/AP 3260 on Energy and Sustainability/Adopted was adopted June 2011. This committee was an integral part of developing the vision, goals and focused plan for sustainable practices that were incorporated into 2011 CMP. The committee has gone on to develop the three plan of actions and an implementation timeline for environmentally sustainable practices and systems including photovoltaic power systems, energy and water conservation projects, and water quality management.

Specific 2012 committee accomplishments included:

  • Committee recommended change from modular to sustainable Gen 7 Modular Science building for Oceanside Campus. (2012)
  • Implemented LED parking lot light demonstration project in staff lot 3E. (2012)
  • Completed District Wide Energy Efficiency and Demand Response Master Plan Study. (2011/12)
  • Initiated action to have all parking lot lights off at 11pm at all three district sites. (Lights used to run through night 7 days a week). (2012)
  • New energy efficient cool roofs installed in OCN B3100 and 3200 – June 2012.
  • Amended storm water pollution prevention language for purchasing contracts. (2012)
  • Coordinated stenciling of all drainage inlets at all three campuses re-stenciled with storm water markings logo. (2012)
  • Updated Strategic Plan’s Institutional Objective 1.2 on environmental and sustainable policies, practices and systems. (2012)
  • Initiated action to have all parking lot lights off at 11pm at all three district sites. (lights used to run through night 7 days a week). (2012)
  • Joined U.S. Green Building Council. (2012)
  • Joined National Wildlife Federation. (2012)
  • Developed Job Description for Sustainability Coordinator. (2012)
  • Submitted Program Review consideration for a Sustainability Coordinator. (2012)

Facilities & Operations

The Santa Monica College Energy Project (Winner)

The Santa Monica College Energy Project was developed and approved by the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees in 2012 and included three main projects: replacing nine old and inefficient boilers; replacing 11,000 of the approximately 16,000 light fixtures on the campus and a comprehensive renovation of the Santa Monica College Center for Environmental and Urban Studies.

On the main campus, a total of nine boilers were replaced with new, energy efficient boilers. The light fixtures were replaced with a combination of fluorescent and LED (light emitting diode) lights. The renovation of the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies featured the installation of a three-stage heating system. The first stage consolidated all computer equipment into an existing server closet. Waste heat is captured from the computers and pumped through the building. The second stage was a solar thermal heating system and the third stage was an electrical heating element housed in the solar thermal tank and powered by the center’s existing solar photovoltaic system. The energy project also included sealing the envelope of the building by installing new windows, blown-in cellulose insulation, weather stripping, and insulation in the ceiling and crawl space.

Sonoma County Junior College District, “Green Epicurean Delights” (Honorable Mention)

A long-time leader in environmental stewardship through education and innovative practices, Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) has pioneered many firsts in the California Community College system and continues to actively champion a proud heritage of sustainability and conservation of California’s natural resources. This commitment is reflected in our latest built environment, the B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center, which we feel is worthy of this prestigious environmental honor for Sustainable Facilities and Operations. Creating a sustainable institutional culture begins with the classic design feel of the new B. Robert Burdo Culinary Arts Center. A perfect blend of Georgian architecture, combined with contemporary 21st century features, gives the structure timeless artistic appeal.

The Center’s two-story motif takes its cue from the SRJC campus’ collegiate structural style deployed in east coast “Ivy League” universities and still popular today. It was critical to retain the ‘architectural heritage’ of the Santa Rosa campus. The task was to create a sense of place that is beautiful to the eye as well as a highly functional and efficient sustainable learning center built for the long term. Building for the long term leads to lower maintenance costs as well as fewer repair and upkeep expenses over the life of the building. This 22,000 two-story culinary center, offers a retail bakery retail dining café, café kitchen, two teaching kitchens, a production bakery, three sculleries, three full media classrooms, offices, chocolate/ice cream room, and temperature-controlled wine library. Our creative design not only meets USGBC-LEED standards, but also ensures operational sustainability. This groundbreaking design is already being reviewed by other Districts to emulate.

With such an intense use facility, it was imperative that we focused on many of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure, such as:

  • Energy conservation systems designed to be at least 10% more efficient than Title 24 CCR energy requirements.
  • Air volume passing through Streivor Industries hood systems (installed over stainless steel Montague cooking suites and Delfield Combi-Ovens) is monitored to control heat levels.
  • Installation of Melink Intelli-Hood DCV sensor lowers fan speed during low heat usage, saving up to 50% daily exhaust system energy use. The Melink system also optimizes energy efficiency by determining the amount of exhaust air required to capture and contain effluent from the cookline, allowing exhaust system to run at lowest possible speed required. As heat levels reach 90°F, a sensor automatically activates fans.
  • Noise level in the kitchen is reduced significantly as the Melink system decreases exhaust and fan speeds during low exhaust demand.
  • State-of-the-art Labs 21-best practice thermal recovery system captures heat from range hoods, ovens and dishwashers and passes it through heat exchange coils to warm the building, substantially reducing mechanical heating requirements.
  • The ventilation system uses 100% outside air and is fine-tuned to provide a good balance of airflow entering/leaving each room.
  • Special kitchen duct cleaning system treats exhaust air to remove grease.

Faculty & Student InitiativesThe West Valley College Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Internship (Winner)

The West Valley College Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Internship was created to fulfill the hands-on requirement for the West Valley College Sustainability Certificate Program using the campus as a living laboratory. The interns are involved with all aspects of sustainability on campus. Apart from work with the built environment, focus includes sustainable development, social justice and issues pertaining to a holistic approach of environmental stewardship. The result has been a growing group of highly motivated and visible sustainability advocates on campus.

In 2011, the college’s LEED Internship pilot program was initiated with five interns working on a feasibility study for the LEED Existing Building Operations and Maintenance certification of the Fox Technology Center on campus and expanded in 2012 to 20 students who launched a Facebook group and blog. Three of the interns from the pilot continued on and became mentors for new interns. Four teams were created, each with an area of concentration – energy management master plan, district standards, new construction and the Fox Existing Building Operations and Maintenance certification. For the spring 2013 semester, focus is on writing the sustainability plan in partnership with the West Valley College Sustainability Committee; implementation of the creek restoration project and long-term planning for the future of the internship.

Skyline College Solar and building Science Learning Center Laboratory Development (Honorable Mention)

The Solar and Building Science Learning Center laboratory has become the focal point for sustainability curriculum and instruction at Skyline College. The Center had its official ribbon cutting in March 2012. This center had been a dream of the three faculty nominated for this award: Bruce Greenstein, Omer Thompson and Aaron Wilcher. The Center consists of a full-scale energy efficient test house and solar installation lab. By braiding funding from a number of different grants, awards, bonds, and general fund dollars a former cosmetology laboratory was changed into a state of the art renewable energy and energy efficiency laboratory.

The Center is home to equipment for solar installation and residential energy auditing and retrofitting. It has a solar installation side with six stations for students to learn solar installation and two live stations that are connected to the multiple roofs types located outside the room. The Lab also contains a full scale test house with all the components of a house, basement, attic, kitchen etc. The house is full scale with a plexi-glass front for viewing.

What is most significant about the test house is that it was built by the faculty, graduates and students. The entire house was a learning experience for them. The solar lab was also installed by the faculty and students simulating for those students a real-life install. The laboratory has also driven the creation of a new department, Energy Systems Technology Management (ESTM). These courses were previously in Environmental Science and Technology.

The Center has provided students with the hands‐on experience needed to compete in the market. The department received an email last week from a local employer requesting the need for 3-4 additional graduates to join the three they were presently orienting. The Center is also a Building Performance Institute test site and attracts contractors and students from throughout the Bay Area. Students in energy efficiency training at other community colleges, Laney and CCSF, have used the site to enhance their training. In addition, classes are held for the community to learn the basics of renewable energy and energy efficiency for the homeowner.

This project was made possible by the vision and determination of the faculty nominated for this award, and supported by the SMCCCD and Skyline College.