2011 Best Practice Awards

The tenth annual California Higher Education Sustainability Conference was hosted by California State University, Long Beach in June 2011. This year's Best Practice Award recipients represent recent examples of energy-efficiency and sustainability achievements of the UC, CSU, and CCC systems.

These projects have been summarized to share examples of innovative and cost-effective building technologies, design strategies, and building operations. For additional information about these projects please see the sidebar on page two for contact information and links.

A media release on the case studies is available on the UPOC website.

Best Overall Sustainable Design

Night view of CSU American River project

UC Riverside, Medical Research Building
The Research Building at UCR’s new School of Medicine is the most sustainably-designed laboratory facility on the campus. With a focus on energy-efficiency and long-term usability, the project establishes a new environmental benchmark for future development at the university.

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Cal Ply Village courtyard

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Poly Canyon Village
Poly Canyon Village was the largest construction project in the history of the CSU system at the time of its construction. After earning LEED Gold certification for an outstanding commitment to sustainable design, it also became CSU’s biggest LEED certified project.

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Exterior view of CTC

San Diego City College, Career Technology Center
The Career Technology Center provides updated and expanded facilities for high-demand vocational programs at the college. The project earned LEED Gold certification for its sustainable design and construction, exceeding district requirements and providing a model for smart growth in an urban setting.

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Best HVAC Design/Retrofit

Rowland Hall exterior

UC Irvine Rowland Hall HVAC Retrofit
This major university laboratory building goes beyond conventional upgrades to reduce fan energy by almost half. Sophisticated upgrades to fume hoods and laboratory air control valves, along with an innovative method for occupancy control, fine-tune air delivery to serve the users’ needs.

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Tanimura & Antle Memorial Librar

CSU Monterey Bay, Tanimura & Antle Memorial Library
An alert staff achieved major savings at the new library at CSU Monterey Bay with only a modest project budget. Through minor changes to the building’s sequence of operations, the project virtually eliminated chiller plant operations for much of the year and reduced building energy use by 20 percent.

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View of College of the Desert Campus

College of the Desert, Campus-wide Energy Efficiency HVAC/EMS Upgrades
Construction of a new energy-efficient central plant gave College of the Desert an opportunity to overhaul HVAC distribution systems in eight major buildings. Combined with ongoing commissioning with enhanced system controls the project reduced the total campus electrical use by approximately 15 percent.

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Best Lighting Design/Retrofit

Night view of CSU American River project

UC Santa Cruz, Science Library Lighting Upgrade
The in-house project team at UC Santa Cruz used datalogging tools and lighting simulation software to identify and test cost-effective energy saving strategies which yielded savings of 52 percent. The retrofit reduced lighting fixture counts and illumination levels, while also enhancing visual comfort for library users.

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View of garage lighting

CSU Long Beach Campus-wide Lighting Energy Efficiency Project
As part of a campus-wide lighting retrofit, measures were implemented in 35 campus buildings, including the installation of bi-level LED technology in a parking structure. The project resulted in significant energy savings with a simple payback of less than seven years.

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View of lighting in gym

College of the Desert Campus-wide Lighting Retrofit
As part of a comprehensive campus-wide energy efficiency program, this lighting retrofit upgraded luminaries, lamps and controls, and has reduced associated energy consumption, peak time-of-day demand charges, as well as ongoing maintenance requirements.

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Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx)

Dutton Hall at UC Davis

UC Davis Dutton Hall and Chemistry Building MBCx
As part of a successful campus-wide effort at UC Davis, monitoring-based commissioning at two buildings implemented new control strategies and air balancing to achieve significant results. The two MBCx projects yielded a combined 33 percent energy savings and a simple payback of 3.9 years.

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Student Services Building exterior view

CSU Chico, Student Services Building
A recently LEED-certified building povided unexpected opportunities for energy saving though effective HVAC and end-load management. By correcting previous construction oversights and optimizing control sequences the project team reduced the payback time from over seven years to less than one year.

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Credits: The 2011 Best Practice Award case studies were edited by David Lehrer of the Green Building Research Center. Contributing authors include Katie Ackerly, Chris Hammer, Trista Little, and Anna LaRue.

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