Early Childhood Education Center

The Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) is an outstanding example of how using an integrated design process can be an effective way to achieve green goals. Comprehensive collaboration between the user group, the design team, and the project delivery team has produced a highly-sustainable building that satisfies the building's programmatic requirements while adhering to the construction schedule and budget.

The ECEC houses a childcare program and research center to support the many programs at UC Berkeley focused on early child development. Designed with a "fresh-air school" approach, children will spend much of the day outdoors cultivating a keen sense of curiosity and inquiry.

The project achieved 10 of 15 possible Indoor Environmental Quality points available under the LEED system to promote the health and safety of the ECEC's children. Low-VOC paints and materials minimize the off-gassing of indoor air pollutants. A green housekeeping policy specifies the use of non-toxic, environmentally responsible cleaning reagents to minimize occupant's contact with harmful chemicals. The building is largely illuminated with natural daylight introduced via skylights and south clerestory windows to create a comfortable, healthful environment while reducing electricity use. Carbon dioxide levels are monitored to help ensure a high level of indoor air quality. In addition to providing the building's youthful occupants with a healthy indoor environment, the ECEC also promotes stewardship of the natural environment. Examples of sustainable resource use at the ECEC include:

  • Construction waste diversion rate of 96% achieved through recycling and reuse venues
  • Low-flow fixtures reduce indoor water use by 40%
  • Landscaping water use reduced by 61%
  • Energy-efficient design reduces energy use to 26% below Title 24 energy conservation standards
  • Passive solar controls reduce energy consumption
  • Largely PVC-free
  • CFC-free HVAC system
  • The project received LEED-NC Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in April 2008, making it UC Berkeley's first LEED-certified building. The project was also honored with a Best Practice Award for Integrated Design Process at the 2006 UC/CSU/CCC Sustainability Conference. To read more about the achievements and lessons learned for the project, click on the "Best Practice Case Studies" tab and navigate to the 2006 case studies.

    Project Credits

    • Project Management: Sally McGarrahan and Diane Abbott, UC Berkeley Capital Projects; Susan Vutz, JSW/D Architects

    • Architecture: JSW/D Architects

    • Contractor: Villa Construction
    • Mechanical Engineer: Fard Engineers
    • Civil Engineer: Franco Civil Engineering
    • Structural Engineer: Ingraham-DeJesse Associates
    • Landscape: Chuck McCulloch

    • LEED Consultant: Andrea Traber

    Additional Information

    UC Berkeley Capital Projects information page

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