MERCED - What does UC Merced have in common with Starbucks,
Toyota, Subway and Bank of America?
They’re all participants in the US Green Building Council’s
Portfolio Pilot Program, which provides cost-effective “portfolio”
solutions to help improve environmental performance in construction
and operations. Ultimately, it will streamline the accreditation
process for UC Merced in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED®) program sponsored by the USGBC. Other
universities like UC Santa Barbara and Emory University are also participating.
UC Merced’s participation was announced at the annual Green
Build conference in Denver.
“UC Merced buildings have some unique, environment-friendly
features,” said campus LEED coordinator Mark Maxwell. “Sometimes
they’re so innovative that others aren’t sure how to measure their
effectiveness. Our participation in the Portfolio Program Pilot
places us among the most environmentally progressive organizations
in the country. That will help us set those very features up as
examples for others to follow.”
UC Merced buildings feature sun-shading, centrally-controlled
heating and air conditioning, and the campus has a 2-million-gallon
chilled-water storage tank cooling water during off hours when
energy demands and prices are lower.
That tank is part of UC Merced’ Central Plant, which will be the
first building to become LEED certified. Maxwell said he expects
the certification to come through around the beginning of 2007.
Participation in the pilot program will increase UC Merced’s
national visibility with the USGBC and will help expedite this and
future LEED certifications.
Founding Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey set forth the vision
that all UC Merced buildings should be at least LEED Silver
certified. The campus continues its commitment to that goal through
its participation in the Portfolio Pilot Program.
The Portfolio Pilot Program aims to integrate green building and
operations as standard business practices for its members. It
provides tools to track the performance of all facilities within an
organization - in other words, that organizations portfolio of
facilities. Participating organizations can also use volume
registration and obtain certification discounts for all LEED rating
systems for the buildings and projects they have committed to the program.
Maxwell said he particularly hopes the program will help UC
Merced make a smooth transition from LEED building practices for
new construction (LEED-NC) into LEED operations for existing