UC Santa Barbara

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

Past Award Winners

Overall Sustainable Design

San Diego State University, Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union

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San Diego State University’s LEED-Platinum certified Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, completed in January 2014, houses a wide range of student organizations, food service tenants, a fitness center and a 300-seat theater. Green features include a 450 kW photovoltaic array, an energy efficient in-slab radiant system, and a 150,000 gallon underground tank to store captured rainwater for irrigation purposes. The design incorporates features from California mission architecture— broad roof overhangs, recessed operable windows, and covered outdoor walkways — to create comfortable outdoor spaces and make an energy efficient building envelope. The building is expected to use nearly 50 percent less energy than the Title-24 benchmark.

UC Davis, Jess S.  Jackson Sustainable Winery Building

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The Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building at UC Davis provides flexible research space for the study of sustainable winery practices, and strives for new levels of sustainability for a UC building. The project team is pursuing a Living Building Challenge Net-Zero Certification, and has also been designed towards net-zero carbon and water goals. A super insulated, low-infiltration envelope enables compressor-free cooling. Energy efficient lighting, ample daylight, low internal loads and a 5.3 kW rooftop photovoltaic array also contribute to exceptional energy performance. The net-zero water strategy includes treatment and reuse of all process water and harvested rainwater.

For more information, please read:

The Sustainable 2nd Century Blog Post

HVAC Design/Retrofit

UC Davis, Plant & Environmental Science (PES) Lab Energy Retrofit

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Scheduled to complete in July 2014, the Plant & Environmental Lab Energy Retrofit project represents a synergy between energy efficiency measures, incorporating HVAC and lighting into the same occupancy determined control system. UC Davis chose to incorporate the occupancy sensors installed for the lighting project to more efficiently run the HVAC system based on occupancy (as opposed to just time schedules). Occupancy data from the sensors will inform air change rates of a newly-installed variable air volume system. The project is expected to reduce electricity consumption by 34% and natural gas by 38%. This project demonstrates how occupancy sensors can greatly reduce both lighting and HVAC energy consumption.

CSU Stanislaus, Naraghi Hall 3rd Floor Ventilation Management Improvement

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Scheduled to complete in July of 2014, the Ventilation Management Improvement project at CSU Stanislaus installed a centralized demand-controlled ventilation system for lab space on the third floor of Naraghi Hall. The system regulates air-change rates based on the concentration of harmful chemicals in the air, reducing air-change rates when concentrations are low and quickly ramping up air-change rates when concentrations increase. Not only is the system expected to reduce energy consumption by 50 to 60 percent, the indoor air quality of the lab space is also expected to improve.

Lighting Design/Retrofit

UC Santa Cruz, Physical Science building Laboratory Automated Lighting Conversion Project

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The Laboratory Automated Lighting Conversion project at UC Santa Cruz undertook a critical evaluation of lighting control strategies to find the most suitable system for the Physical Sciences Building. The evaluation prioritized safety, cost-effectiveness, energy savings, maintenance needs, and non-proprietary technology. The evaluation resulted in the following upgrades: wireless lighting controls for lab spaces, wireless controls and daylighting sensors in hallways and atriums, and LED retrofits of recessed downlights. Computer modeling was used to optimize lighting levels and control strategies. In addition to reduced maintenance expenses and the ability to continually monitor the system, the project is anticipated to save more than 255,000 kWh annually and offset peak demand by 36 kW. On a budget of just over $200,000, the campus will save an estimated $34,520 annually leading to a simple payback of less than five years.

CSU Dominguez Hills, Intelligent Lighting Controls

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The Intelligent Lighting Controls project at CSU Dominguez Hills installed smart sensor technology on individual fixtures that monitor the heat, motion and light levels surrounding the specific fixture and turn the lights off when not needed. The sensor data is captured in a web-based platform that allows operators to make adjustments in the field and produce basic trending reports. The project provided research opportunities for Earth Science Students, which were showcased at Student Research Day and spurred the vendor to donate 100 sensors and equipment to retrofit the building where the students held their class. Building occupants have been completely satisfied with the retrofit, which has reduced hallway energy use by 78% and office energy use by 50%. On a project budget of approximately $50,000, the campus is saving 100,248 kWh and $13,000 annually.

Montitoring-Based Commissioning

CSU Dominguez Hills, Welch Hall

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Welch Hall, at CSU Dominguez Hills’ School of Health, houses classrooms, offices and laboratories. Suspected HVAC problems leading to high energy use made it a good candidate for a monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx). Upgrades included new sequences for air handlers and outside air economizers, new static pressure resets, repair and calibration of HVAC sensors, and functional testing of the repaired equipment. The project has reduced electricity use by 24%, chilled water use by 31%, and hot water use by 51%. The commissioning agent trained staff at the end of the project to ensure that these energy savings would persist.

UC San Diego, Clinical Teaching Facility

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The Clinical Teaching Facility at UC San Diego’s Hillcrest Medical Center, is a 123,000 square-foot building housing laboratories and research facilities. The building contains 53 fume hoods which operate continuously. Monitoring-based commissioning included repairing or replacing outside air economizers, installing new control sequences, repairing leaking valves, and reducing simultaneous heating and cooling. The project has reduced electricity use by 5%, chilled water use by 47%, and steam use by 63%.

Student Energy Efficiency

UC Santa Cruz, College Eight Cold Water Wash Campaign

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The Cold Water Wash Campaign at UC Santa Cruz’s College Eight Dorms was a focused eight-week outreach campaign to reduce natural gas usage and increase awareness of natural gas usage in the residence halls. PowerSave interns partnered with Resident Assistants to encourage students to wash their laundry in cold water. Through friendly competition and low-cost incentives, the pilot saved an impressive 1,577 therms of natural gas, which equates to an annual reduction of 10,278 therms. Because of the pilot’s success, the program will be expanded to other residence halls in the future.

CSU Long Beach, Go Green Game Collaboration

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The Go Green Game Collaboration at CSU Long Beach was a partnership between the PowerSave Interns and Athletics & Maintenance Facilities staff to make the Pyramid and Athletics Department Operations more sustainable. The Collaboration consisted of a three part plan that encompassed benchmarking the building in Energy Star, achieving Green Office Certification, and leading a focused green outreach campaign at a televised basketball game held at the Pyramid. The green campaign educated patrons and viewers on the positive changes occurring at the Pyramid and Athletics Department and encouraged them to demonstrate school spirit by conserving energy.

Student Sustainability Program

CSU Chico, Green Events Consulting Team

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CSU Chico’s student-run Green Events Consulting Team provides a number of services to improve the sustainability of events held on campus. In addition to providing detailed consulting throughout the entire planning process of an event, the team also offers custom workshops, guidance on waste sorting during events, and an evaluation on the event’s sustainable performance afterward. The team has established a good working relationship with Associated Student Conference Services, which will enable sustainability to be institutionalized into the events planning process. All of the Green Events Consulting Team’s best practices are detailed in a publically-available green event guide.

UC Merced, Water Battle: Water Conservation Competition and Campaign

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UC Merced’s student-run Water Battle educates and challenges students to conserve water through a month-long residence hall competition. The program began in 2011 and has been successfully creating a water conservation culture on campus ever since—incoming students expect to participate in the competition and participants keep conserving water even after the competition has ended. A total of 170,000 gallons of water have been saved in the three annual competitions held so far. UC Merced partnered with a Silicon Valley start-up, which provides real-time water monitoring technology and an online dashboard that allows students to track their progress. Engaging infographics and water-saving tips encourage residents to reduce their water use. Students in UC Merced’s professional writing program created humorous, eye-catching posters to market the campaign.

Water Efficiency & Site Water Quality

UC San Francisco, Research Laboratories Water Efficiency Program

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Through collaboration across multiple research laboratories at two sites, UC San Francisco Engineering Services implemented a water conservation program which has reduced water use by 3.6 million gallons per year. After an in-depth water audit, the campus team partnered with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and vendors responsible for the maintenance of sterilizers and cold room condensers to retrofit and decommission lab equipment. Ongoing research was not interrupted or compromised during the process and Engineering Services developed training manuals for lab occupants on appropriate use and maintenance of the new equipment.

CSU San Marcos, Comprehensive Water Conservation Program

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The Comprehensive Water Conservation Program at CSU San Marcos, which includes building level assessments, measurement of campus-wide flows and leak detection programming, has enabled the campus to reduce its overall water use by 11 percent since 2005 despite significant growth. Over the years, the campus has installed complex water meters, waterless urinals, low flow fixtures and computerized irrigation controls. As water rates have tripled since 2006, the Water Conservation Program is saving the campus $167,000 annually in avoided costs.

Innovative Waste Reduction

CSU San Marcos, From Recycling and Waste Diversion to Source Reduction and Zero Waste

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CSU San Marcos has had a strong commitment to campus waste reduction for two decades, starting with a prevalent recycling program and slowly ramping up its to source reduction. Waste reduction measures such as replacing paper towels with hand driers in restrooms, providing water bottle filling stations, and providing all students with reusable mugs; annual events focused on waste; and a campus-wide paper reduction campaign are contributing to the campus’ consistent 70% waste-diversion rate. The campus is striving for zero waste by 2025. CSU San Marcos has been recognized for its efforts with seven consecutive Grand Champion Recyclemania titles.

UC Santa Cruz, Loadman Real-Time Waste Metrics for Weight Based Recharge and Diversion

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UC Santa Cruz’s winning program transitioned waste collection and tracking from a system based on volume and frequency to one based on weight of use. Beginning in September 2012, the campus Physical Plant initiated a new resource recovery metrics system that integrates database software, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and sophisticated real-time scaling software to weigh refuse and recycling materials as they are collected by heavy machinery operators. After a year of testing and evaluation, the campus expanded the system for the entire fleet, developing a revolutionary weight-based service and billing system for campus clients. This new system appropriately incentivizes waste reduction towards a zero waste goal as campus clients pay based on the amount of landfill waste they generate.

Honorable Mention: UC Irvine, Zero Waste Events

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UC Irvine has improved their landfill waste diversion rate at large-scale events from less than 5% to an impressive 90%. At each event, trash receptacles are accompanied by recycling and composting bins, and student volunteers stand next to the bins helping attendees place their waste in the proper bin. Not only has this strategy drastically improved the campus’ waste diversion rate, education on proper waste disposal reaches beyond the campus community to visitors such as alumni, parents, and prospective students. Attendees are now starting to expect zero-waste events on campus and need less guidance on which bin to place their waste.

Sustainable Food Service

UC Los Angeles, Bruin Plaste Residential Restaurant

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Bruin Plate opened in fall 2013 as a health- and sustainability-themed dining hall with a goal to empower students to learn and practice life-long “mindful eating” habits. Sustainable food spend reached 28% in the first months of operation. Lines wrapping the building indicate Bruin Plate’s popularity, and the dining hall serves an average of 2,400 guests daily for lunch and dinner alone. Students have expressed that they do not miss commercial sodas or traditional menu items like burgers and fries. The facility itself expects to receive at least a LEED NC-Silver rating and harvests natural lighting with over 150 skylights, windows, and glass doors along with programmable, energy efficient lighting. Floors are long-lasting epoxy terrazzo (made from recycled materials), community tables are made locally in Los Angeles, and all plants are native to California, including a variety of succulents for low-water maintenance. Tableware is a composite of melamine and bamboo, and napkin holders are made of bamboo—a rapidly renewable material.

CSU Chico, AS Dining Sustainability Efforts

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Chico State’s sustainable foodservice program demonstrates best practices in purchasing practices, marketing, and responsible waste management. Marketing efforts and relationships with local sustainable food vendors have increased demand for sustainable food. In the bookstore, students can purchase local, fair-trade, and/or organic products, such as nuts and olive oil from regional vendors. All on-campus food locations use green leaf icons on items that qualify as local, organic, or fair-trade. Monday through Thursday, one central food station offers a “Local Lunch” with at least fifty percent of the local ingredients. A Local Lunch incentive stamp card enables students to receive a complementary lunch after receiving purchasing 8 Local Lunches. The waste diversion rate in dining facilities is an impressive 85%.

Sustainable Transportation

CSU Monterey Bay, No Cost Increased Bus Ridership via Leveraging Regional Resources

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By leveraging regional resources, CSU Monterey Bay increased their bus ridership from 7,000 riders per month to 25,000 riders per month in only 2.5 year at no cost to the campus. Strategies included market surveys to determine ridership needs, close collaboration with regional agencies and university officials on additions to and modifications of existing routes, and significant marketing to promote education and awareness of the alternative transportation options offered on our campus.

UC Davis, Bike Friendly Platinum

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In 2013, UC Davis was awarded both a Platinum level designation as a Bike Friendly Business and a Platinum level designation as a Bike Friendly University. The recognition is a result of long-term prioritization of the UC Davis Bicycle Program, and also a few new initiatives over the past year. The campus employs a full-time bike coordinator who is coordinating an upgrade of all bike racks to high security, high capacity racks, the installation of a green bike lane, and the use of bicycle signal heads across the campus. The campus maintains a Bicycle Education and Enforcement Program and launched a new, publically available online bicycle safety course in summer that focuses specifically on the UC Davis campus. Ongoing analysis and evaluation enables the program to continually evolve and improve.

Sustainability Innovations

UC Berkeley, Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP)

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UC Berkeley’s Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP) is a coalition of faculty, campus leaders, staff and students that formed in 2006 to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions on campus. In 2013 CalCAP announced that the campus had met its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels one year ahead of the campus schedule and seven years ahead of the UC systemwide policy goal. Key to CalCAP’s success has been the implementation of hundreds of energy efficiency initiatives, transportation fuel reduction efforts, and smart consensus driven decision-making that has transformed the campus culture around energy use, green buildings, procurement, travel, and student service learning.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Sustainable Infrastructrue and Energy Initiative

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UC Berkeley’s Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP) is a coalition of faculty, campus leaders, staff and students that formed in 2006 to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions on campus. In 2013 CalCAP announced that the campus had met its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels one year ahead of the campus schedule and seven years ahead of the UC systemwide policy goal. Key to CalCAP’s success has been the implementation of hundreds of energy efficiency initiatives, transportation fuel reduction efforts, and smart consensus driven decision-making that has transformed the campus culture around energy use, green buildings, procurement, travel, and student service learning.

Honorable Mention: San Francisco State, Divestment from Fossil Fuels

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In 2013 San Francisco State became the first public university to partially divest from fossil fuels. Specifically, the campus Foundation divested its $51 million endowment from direct investments in companies with significant production or use of coal or tar sands. Students requested that the university divest from fossil fuels after learning about the divestment movement in their courses, reasoning that the environmental impacts of fossil fuel production and use do not align with the university’s mission. A special foundation committee was established to review the investment policy, identify all investments in fossil fuels companies, and make recommendations to the President and the board on guidelines for investing. The results of the movement included a plan of action for divestment of the funds consistent with the University’s values.

Sustainability in Academics

UC Merced, Marketing for Sustainability: Academic Infusion and Service Learning

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Since 2011, UC Merced’s Marketing for Sustainability unique service-learning course project has been challenging students to develop marketing materials to promote water and energy saving behaviors in college dorms. Students conduct literature reviews of marketing research and psychographic analysis, hold focus groups and analyze student attitudes toward sustainability behaviors. The project culminates in the production of print-ad style materials, fliers, and memes integrating varied psychological triggers through impactful imagery and sloganeering. As the course project is offered through UC Merced’s “Introduction to Professional Writing” and “Management Communication” classes, it is a great example of how sustainability-related topics can be integrated into curriculum of disciples that do not traditionally include sustainability.

CSU San Marcos, Community Ethnobotany Garden

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Since its inception in 2007, the CSU San Marcos Community Ethnobotany Garden has been providing the university and surrounding communities with an outdoor educational laboratory of the ecological systems of San Diego County to learn about medicinal plant properties, landscape management, traditional food production, sustainability practices, and plant and animal habitat interactions. Encompassing both the environmental and social pillars of sustainability, the garden cultivates interdisciplinary partnerships and serves to provide educational spaces and curricular opportunities for the physical and biological sciences, humanities and arts, social and behavioral sciences, and computer and technological sciences. Each semester anthropology students work, plant and study the garden while conducting research with community partners to produce garden signs, videos, and databases of plant, habitat, cultivation, harvest, and other associated knowledge, which is all made available to the public.