Ten years after receiving its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), UC Merced has earned platinum certification for Classroom and Office Building 2 (COB2).
UC Merced remains the only campus in the nation with all constructed buildings being LEED certified. This marks the campus’ 17th LEED certification for new construction and its eighth platinum designation.
“From day one, we made a deliberate commitment to build to highest sustainable standards,” Assistant Director of Sustainability Mark Maxwell said. “With each new building, we’re proud to demonstrate that we’re keeping that promise.”
COB2 opened last fall, providing much-needed classrooms, tutorial space, research labs, and academic and administrative offices to support the campus’s projected growth.
Some of COB2’s sustainable features include:
- 93 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills;
- 51 percent of the building materials are recycled content;
- the building is 43 percent more water efficient than California code requires; and
- energy efficiency is 46 percent greater than California code requires.
Like many of the campus’s other buildings, COB2 pulls chilled and hot water from the Central Plant, which contributes to its high energy efficiency.
Since opening in 2005, UC Merced has earned LEED silver for the Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Center; LEED gold for the Central Plant, Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library, Classroom and Office Building 1, Science and Engineering Building 1, Sierra Terraces residence halls, Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center, Facilities Complex, and the Early Childhood Education Center; and LEED platinum for the dining expansion, Social Science and Management Building, The Summits residence halls, Half Dome residence hall, Student Activities and Athletic Center, Student Services Building and the Science and Engineering Building 2.
Classroom and Office Building 1 is also expected to achieve the campus’s second LEED Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) certification shortly. The Leo and Dottie Kolligian Library earned a gold certificate in Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance in 2015.
A building project like COB2 is a collective effort of many talented individuals, including former campus architect Thomas Lollini, former project director Leon Waller, interim director for Construction Services, Design and Construction Fran Telechea and former director Sarah Mitchell, James Brugger, Zuhair Mased and Jonathan Lampman from Facilities Management, Steve Roach and Gini Krippner who inspected the building, and the design team from Solomon Cordwell and Buenz (SCB).
“From planning and design to construction and maintenance of our buildings, there are countless individuals involved in making sure we meet — and often surpass — the USGBC’s rigorous standards,” Maxwell said. “They deserve the credit for their tireless efforts to find innovative ways to make our buildings attractive, functional and environmentally friendly.”