UCI News

UCI's stem cell research building earns top sustainability ranking

Campus’s second LEED Platinum citation in one month is added to eight gold awards.

December 21, 2011

It’s a simple pleasure: the ability to open a conference-room window and let in the afternoon breeze. But operable windows are also a good energy strategy and just one of the many green features and amenities that earned UC Irvine’s Sue & Bill Gross Hall: A CIRM Institute its second LEED Platinum certification in a month from the U.S. Green Building Council. A platinum designation is the agency’s highest honor; the campus has received eight LEED Gold certifications.

“This is a great day for UC Irvine’s sustainability program,” said Richard Demerjian, director of environmental planning & sustainability. “Gross Hall is one of the most energy-efficient lab buildings in the U.S.”

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design ratings are determined on a point basis in the following categories: site sustainability, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation & design process.

Gross Hall scored points for such features as dimmable and occupancy-controlled lighting, use of energy-saving building materials, and mechanical systems that are 50 percent more efficient than required by California’s Title 24 energy code. The operable windows are tied into the heating and air-conditioning controls so that when a window is opened, mechanical ventilation of that room shuts off.

An $80 million, 100,000-square-foot structure, Gross Hall was designed to facilitate contact between patients in the first-floor clinic and rehabilitation center and stem cell researchers on the first, second and third floors. Labs are equipped with Aircuity technology that monitors indoor air quality and adjusts air-change rates based on contaminant levels.

“This LEED Platinum certification recognizes Gross Hall’s extraordinary energy efficiency, plus its many other green building features,” Demerjian said, “further establishing UC Irvine as a national leader in campus sustainability.”

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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