FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, Jan. 13, 2005
Trey Davis (510) 987-0056
UC TO ISSUE PROGRESS REPORT ON "GREEN" BUILDING AND CLEAN ENERGY EFFORTS
The University of California Tuesday (Jan. 18) will release an annual report on its progress toward implementing "green" building and clean energy policies for all proposed and to-be-renovated buildings on its 10 campuses.
"The systemwide policy seeks to integrate energy efficiency and sustainability principles into the energy purchasing practices and building guidelines for all capital projects to the fullest extent possible, consistent with budgetary constraints and regulatory and program requirements," said Joseph P. Mullinix, UC's senior vice president for business and finance.
Projects approved after July 2004, including nine new projects approved by the UC Board of Regents in Nov. 2004 as part of the state-funded 2005-06 capital improvements budget include this commitment. Many projects with budgets approved before 2004-05 have also incorporated sustainable features to comply with the policy goals.
In the past year, UC campuses have also completed green building application guidelines, developed preliminary plans to implement its clean energy standard and arranged with utility companies to provide documentation and financial incentives for energy efficiency in new construction. Additionally, UC has received several large grants to assist implementation as well as recognition from federal officials for the university's leadership in this area.
Among other requirements, UC's green building policy mandates that its new buildings outperform Title 24 energy parameters by 20 percent and achieve a level of sustainability equivalent to at least a Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) certified rating. The campuses' clean energy plans will project campus energy consumption growth over the next decade and the amount of energy efficiency and renewable energy required to offset this load growth to comply with the policy.
Primarily based on the U.S. Green Building Council's standards, UC modified its certification baselines to address the unique character of its campus communities -- allowing each campus to highlight past efforts towards sustainable development, such as storm-water drainage systems, energy generation efforts and sustainable land use planning as well as commit to future efforts for every new construction project.
Other first-year highlights
- Energy efficiency: A partnership with utility companies and the 23-campus California State University system provides $15 million -- obtained from the California Public Utilities Commission in part due to UC's far-reaching clean energy standard -- to implement energy efficiency projects at UC and CSU campuses. A second CPUC grant provides $2.5 million to manage pilot student energy conservation programs on the UC Berkeley, Santa Barbara and San Diego campuses. UC and CSU have also received $3 million from the California Energy Commission to demonstrate new emerging energy technologies.
Renewable energy: UC graduate students completed a solar site assessment for the Berkeley campus, identifying priority buildings for solar projects and analyzing possible financing approaches. Also at Berkeley, the Associated Students (ASUC) and Graduate Student Assembly allocated $300,000 for a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the student union building, which earned an additional $300,000 in state rebates. The ASUC has now secured $500,000 from its campus bookstore operator for energy efficiency retrofits and to install additional solar PV systems. Three UC sites participated in a California Power Authority pilot program to request bids for solar PV projects to seek cost-effective solar PV projects.
UC also created a "sustainability specialist" staff position to manage portions of its energy grant programs and coordinate communications with students, faculty and administrators.
Buy clean and green: UC is working to leverage its buying power to encourage manufacturers of laboratory-grade refrigerators and freezers to build more efficient units. UC also obtained funding to test more energy-efficient fume hood technology for possible use in UC laboratories. It is also partnering with the federal Environmental Proection Agency and Alameda County Waste Management Authority to provide expert technical assistance for an environmentally preferable purchasing program.
Training: UC continues to promote excellence through training. The third annual UC Green Building-Sustainability Conference, which attracted over 300 UC and CSU participants in June 2004, highlighted best practices in energy efficiency, green buildings and sustainability on UC and CSU campuses. More than 165 UC staff have attended courses on meeting the goal for exceeding Title 24 energy standards by at least 20 percent, creating laboratories for the 21st century through high performance laboratory design, and implementing UC's green building standard for existing buildings.
National partnerships and awards: The U.S. Department of Energy invited UC to become a partner in Rebuild America, which provides resources and expertise for further implementation of the university's clean energy standard. The university is also working with the U.S. Green Building Council to assist campuses going through the LEED certification process. In Sept. 2004, federal officials praised UC's new policies at a ceremony dedicating an Energy Star rating for the UC systemwide office building in Oakland.
Mandated by the regents in July 2003, the university's policy on green building design and clean energy standards was issued in June 2004. The first-year report's policy implementation progress table is available at:
A second-year report, analyzing the impact of UC's sustainability efforts on energy use and building design and the effects on the overall capital program and operating costs, is expected to be released at the regents' Nov. 2005 meeting.
For more information about UC's green building and clean energy policies:
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