First LEED® Gold Building at the University of California, Santa Cruz -Cowell Student Health Center

17-Feb-2011

The University of California, Santa Cruz - Cowell Student Health Center has been awarded LEED® Gold certification as established by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Cowell Student Health Center represents the first LEED Gold Building at UC Santa Cruz.

"The students of UCSC are passionately committed to sustainability. They worked tirelessly to raise the additional money required through a student ballot measure, and collaborated with the campus project manager and architects to ensure the Cowell Student Health Center would meet LEED Silver requirements. The building has exceeded their expectations by becoming the first LEED Gold building on the campus. The students are thrilled - not only do they have a green building, but they've learned that working with the administration can yield measurable results!" said Aurora Winslade, Sustainability Manager, University of California Santa Cruz Sustainability Office and former UCSC Student Green Building Advocate.

The University of California Santa Cruz Cowell Student Health Center’s LEED Gold certification was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:
•Extending the life of the existing building reduced its carbon footprint and the overall resource demand for the project.
•Siting and design retains as many trees as feasible and implements rigorous erosion control standards. Native landscaping is used throughout the project site.
•Natural ventilation was used rather than air conditioning for human comfort, energy savings, and reduced maintenance costs.
•Traffic reduction is supported by public transportation and an extensive network of walkways. Showers, changing rooms, and bike storage are provided for staff.
•Building systems improvements will result in an estimated 40.5% reduction in water use.
•Solar heat gain is limited by deep overhangs, the mature tree canopy, and insulated glazing. This, in addition to operable windows, made a mechanical cooling system unnecessary. The existing heating and ventilation system has been refurbished to exceed Title 24 by more than 16.9%. In addition, Green Power off sets the remaining grid power needs - according to the EPA, UCSC is the 4th largest purchaser of Green Power in the U.S.
•Recycled content materials, including high volume fly ash concrete and other high percentage recycled content materials were selected for the project as well.
•Indoor Air Quality goals were met by complying with Campus Standards for low-emitting materials, including adhesives, sealants, paints, flooring, wall coverings, and ceiling systems.

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