UCSC is recognized for exemplary environmental practices

UC Santa Cruz has received a prestigious Acterra 2012 Business Environmental Award for the sustainability of the recently expanded and redesigned Student Health Center. The award was presented to the campus during an evening ceremony on May 31 in Palo Alto.

UCSC's sustainability achievement is heralded in this Acterra video.

The campus's work on the health center — and student-led efforts to reduce the project's impact on the environment — were cited by the non-profit organization in honoring UCSC.

A student-led initiative to help fund the project provided money necessary to "green" the project, Acterra noted. "The Center subsequently became the campus's first LEED Gold certified building on campus."

A project team comprised of staff from UCSC's Office of Physical Planning & Construction, student organizers, the project architects (Hawley Peterson Synder), and the builder (DPR Construction) implemented a number of green design and construction features, including:

• Nearly all of the trees on site were preserved.

• The new and existing wings capture 90 percent of stormwater.

• The construction reused nearly 90 percent of the existing building, and the team achieved 87 percent diversion of construction and demoliton waste.

• The center uses natural air ventilation instead of air conditioning.

As a result of these and other system improvements, the expanded center now uses less energy and water than the previous building did. For example, while adding 11,000 square feet of building, the project resulted in a center that uses 42.6 percent less water.

Acterra's Business Environmental Awards program is one of the San Francisco Bay Area's oldest and most prestigious environmental recognition programs. Initiated in 1990, it is considered a heavyweight among award programs due to its rigorous application and judging process.

About Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet

Acterra is a non-profit organization with a 40-year history of environmental programming in and around Silicon Valley. Acterra involves and educate individuals, businesses and communities to take action against global warming, restore natural habitats, and cultivate environmental leaders for the future. For more information visit www.acterra.org.