More "green" recognition for health center

UC Santa Cruz continues to earn recognition and honors for the newly completed "green" renovation of the Cowell Student Health Center.

Previously, the building earned the campus its first "Gold" certification from LEED [Leadership and Environmental Energy Development], a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in the design, construction and daily operation of buildings.

That recognition was the end result of a four-year,  $17 million project to expand and seismically retrofit the 42-year-old health center, while making the building more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Now, the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California has selected the health center for a merit award in the category of sustainable design.

The jury of five members included two structural engineers, a structural engineering professor, a general contractor and an architect. They evaluated 27 entries in eight categories.

The SEAONC 2011 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards will be presented in early May.

Degenkolb Engineers from San Francisco were responsible for the Cowell Student Health Center seismic upgrades of the existing building and the structural design of the new east wing addition.

The entire project was funded by UCSC students through several bond measures, including Measure 35,  which raised $1.25 million to pay for eco-friendly additions to the building.

The students raised this money by agreeing to a new compulsory fee of $5.20 per quarter per student.

Late in the design process, UCSC made major changes.   Among the additions and improvements: waterless urinals and more efficient flush toilets; planter boxes to capture storm water; reinforced turf instead of pavement in a turnaround area for service vehicles; recycled and other green building materials; the use of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood and the use of “green” finishes on the floors.