2014 Best Practice Awards

For the tenth consecutive year, the Best Practice Awards acknowledged sustainable best practices across UC and CSU campuses. These project summaries are provided to share both successes and lessons learned with peers throughout these university systems, and beyond.

This year the awards were announced at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC) 2014 that took place at UC San Diego, June 16-20, 2014.

Best Overall Sustainable Design

UC Davis Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building

UC Davis Jess S. Jackson
Sustainable Winery Building

This latest addition to UC Davis’ viticulture teaching and research complex reaches new levels for sustainability with innovative passive design, on-site water capture and reuse. The project is expected to achieve zero-net energy certification through the Living Building Challenge.

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San Diego State Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union

San Diego State Conrad Prebys
Aztec Student Union

When San Diego State University outgrew their student union, the student body made a bold statement using a familiar architectural vocabulary. California’s largest LEED Platinum education building combines high performance with an enduring architectural style and state-of-the-art facilities.

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Best HVAC Design/Retrofit

CPP wind tunnel test facility

UC Davis, Plant and Environmental Science (PES) Lab Energy Retrofit
UC Davis took advantage of recently installed lighting occupancy sensors and conducted detailed wind tunnel analysis to reduce energy use 36 percent while ensuring occupant safety. The retrofit combined reduced airflow rates, variable frequency drives, direct digital controls, and advanced control strategies.

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CSU Stanislaus Naraghi Hall

CSU Stanislaus Naraghi Hall
Lab Ventilation Improvement

CSU Stanislaus installed a contaminant measurement system in laboratory spaces in the LEED Silver-certified Naraghi Hall building. The system maintains ventilation rates that meet safety requirements as efficiently as possible, saving an average of $73,800 per year in this multi-use building.

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Best Lighting Design/Retrofit

UC Santa Cruz Laboratory Lighting simulation image

UC Santa Cruz Laboratory
Lighting Conversion Project

A lighting and controls retrofit at UC Santa Cruz is expected to provide energy savings of 40 to 70 percent, while meeting the safety and control needs of the lab users. The work involved detailed evaluation of control technologies and computer simulations to provide suitable illumination levels and distribution.

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Students with project poster CSU Dominguez Hills Welch Hall 
Lighting Controls Retrofit

CSU Dominguez Hills Welch Hall
Lighting Controls Retrofit

A pilot installation of a wireless lighting control system produced convincing energy savings with ease of implementation. A student-led evaluation of the technology provided the case for deploying it in several additional buildings throughout campus, leading to thousands of dollars in annual energy savings.

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Monitoring-Based Commissioning (MBCx)

UC San Diego Clinical Teaching Facility

Monitoring-Based Commissioning at
UC San Diego Clinical Teaching Facility

A thorough monitoring-based commissioning program reduced energy use in a multi-purpose teaching and research facility by 33 percent, leading to annual savings of over $200,000. Corrective actions included correcting BMS overrides and repair and replacement of faulty equipment.

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Cal State University Dominguez Hills Welch Hall

Monitoring-Based Commissioning at
Cal State University Dominguez Hills Welch Hall

Effective project management by campus staff and consultants expedited a stalled MBCx process, and in the process corrected scheduling errors, inaccurate sensor readings, and equipment faults. The combined energy saving measures resulted in total energy savings of 25 percent.

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Water Efficiency & Site Water Quality

UCSF research laboratories  installation

UCSF Research Laboratories
Water Efficiency Program

UC San Francisco engaged laboratory staff and vendors in a comprehensive analysis of its existing water-using lab equipment and processes. The project team identified and installed equipment retrofits and changes that are expected to save 3.6 million gallons of water and $47,000 annually.

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CSU San Marcos water meter image

California State University San Marcos
Comprehensive Water Conservation Program

CSU San Marcos has taken aggressive measures to meter and conserve water consumption at multiple scales. From campus-wide submetering to training on low water fixtures, these efforts have led to a remarkable net water use reduction across campus.

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Sustainability Innovations

Image for UC Berkeley Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP)

UC Berkeley Cal Climate Action Partnership (CalCAP)
By implementing hundreds of energy efficiency projects across campus, a broadly based coalition of students, staff, faculty and administrators at UC Berkeley reduced carbon emissions to 1990 levels, meeting state-wide goals a full eight years ahead of schedule. This project sets the stage for meeting a new goal of carbon neutrality for UC campuses by 2025.

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Students with photovoltaic panels for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Sustainable Energy
and Infrastructure Initiative

Integrating academic and facilities planning, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is taking advantage of sustainable energy and infrastructure projects on campus to benefit the teaching and research curricula. This synergistic and collaborative approach serves as a valuable model for other departments and campuses.

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Credits: The 2014 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, Miriam Landman and Chris Hammer.

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