2013 Best Practice Awards

The Best Practice Award winners represented below showcase the efforts of campus staff, consultants, and collaborating firms and organizations in the creation of energy-efficient and sustainable campuses throughout the UC and CSU systems. The short project summaries describe key features and lessons learned from each project, so that campus project teams can learn from the collective efforts of peers at other campuses.

The awards were announced at the twelfth annual California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) 2013 was hosted by UC Santa Barbara in June 2013.

Best Overall Sustainable Design

Maximino Martinez Commons

UC Berkeley, Maximino Martinez Commons
Challenging site conditions helped shape the climate responsive configuration of this 416-bed residence hall that showcases compelling architectural design, diverse unit plans, impressive sustainability achievements and sensitive responses to building's cultural context.


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Student Housing Phase III

CSU Fullerton, Student Housing Phase III
The first LEED Platinum building on the CSU Fullerton campus, the Phase III housing project was completed three months ahead of schedule. It offers engaging public spaces that incorporate sustainable landscape design and site water management, and is expected to provide significant energy savings.


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Best HVAC Design/Retrofit

UC San Diego Pacific Hall

UC San Diego Pacific Hall Laboratory HVAC Retrofit
UC San Diego’s chemistry and biology lab building was identified as one of the most energy intensive buildings on campus. With 230 continuously running chemical fume hoods and a peak electrical load of one megawatt, the building’s HVAC system was an obvious candidate for an efficiency upgrade.


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CSU Stanislaus Central Plant

CSU Stanislaus Central Plant and Chilled/Hot Water Optimization
A systematic commissioning process led to a combination of capital improvements and control modifications that realized central plant electricity savings of 24 percent, slashing chilled water flow and distribution energy, and reducing the number of hot water pumps required by half.


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Best Lighting Design/Retrofit

Exterior Lighting at UC Davis

UC Davis Adaptive Controls for Exterior Lighting
This controls project has broken new ground in lighting retrofits, integrating existing infrastructure with custom combined technology specifications, resulting in an energy cost savings of approximately $100,000 per year, and setting an example for campus/industry collaboration.


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Plan of CSU Fullerton Lighting

CSU Fullerton Campus-Wide Lighting Project
California State University, Fullerton’s ambitious campus-wide lighting project tackled interior and exterior fixtures while carefully mapping the system. An integrated wireless control system accessible by iPad gives staff broad access to identify problems and adjust controls in the field.


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Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx)

UCSC Earth and Marine Sciences Building

MBCx at the UCSC Earth and Marine Sciences Building
A “hybrid” monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) project combined commissioning activities with control system and equipment upgrades, reducing annual electrical consumption by 14 percent, and peak demand by 24 percent. The cost effective approach yielded a simple payback of 2.9 years.


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CSU Long Beach University Music Center

MBCx at the CSU Long Beach University Music Center
Representing the best success story from the monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx) of five buildings that in aggregate saved $57,000 annually, the University Music Center at CSU Long Beach reduced the electrical load by 6.5%, chilled water use by 66%, and hot use water by 72%.


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Water Efficiency & Site Water Quality

Water Action Plan Student Tour

UC Santa Barbara, Water Action Plan
Developed by graduate student researchers, advisors and community partners, UCSB’s Water Action Plan is a comprehensive water planning and conservation document that will guide not only UCSB to greater levels of conservation, but will serve as an important resource for universities in California and beyond.


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Sustainability Innovations

Green Revolving Loan Fund Diagram

UC Santa Cruz Residence Hall Bi-Level Stairwell Lighting Retrofit and Green Revolving Loan Fund
A student-led team at UCSC leveraged a lighting retrofit to use predictable energy savings to seed a new revolving loan fund for energy efficiency. The fund will be used for reinvesting energy cost savings in support of energy conservation projects.


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Opening of Bike Bunker

CSU Monterey Bay TRIPWise and Campus Transportation Projects
The TRIPWise alternative transportation information campaign and associated projects spearheaded by a campus transportation planner has brought greater awareness of, and multiple service enhancements to biking, public transit, and ride sharing for the entire campus community.


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Credits: The 2013 Best Practice Award case studies were edited by David Lehrer of the Green Building Research Center. Contributing authors include Katie Ackerly, Noelle Cole, Gwen Fuertes, Chris Hammer and Anna LaRue.

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