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UC Merced Receives Fourth LEED Gold for Environmental Certification

March 5, 2009

Newest Campus in UC System Continues to Set Highest Standard

in Nation for Environmentally Responsible Development and Operation

UC Merced's Science and Engineering Building
The 174,000-square-foot Science
& Engineering Building provides labratories, classrooms and
office space for faculty and students whose work often requires
highly sophisticated equipment, facilities and support

MERCED, CA— For the fourth time since 2007,
a recently completed building on the campus of the University of
California, Merced, has earned LEED “Gold” certification from the
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for excellence in
environmentally responsible design, construction and operation, the
university said today.

The 174,000-square-foot Science & Engineering Building,
completed in January 2006, provides laboratories, classrooms and
office space for faculty and students whose work often requires
highly sophisticated equipment, facilities and support services.
The building meets these needs while achieving exemplary
performance in water and energy usage, natural lighting, air
quality, waste diversion and recycling, the use of locally supplied
and/or recycled building materials and other factors evaluated
under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.

Previously, the university’s Central Plant complex, the Leo
& Dottie Kolligian Library, and the Classroom and Office
Building were awarded LEED Gold certification, while another
facility, the Valley Terraces and the Yablokoff-Wallace Dining
Commons earned LEED Silver. No other university in the country has
earned LEED Silver or better for every building on campus.

The USGBC evaluates buildings on a wide range of design and
performance factors under its internationally recognized LEED
program. On the five-tier USGBC scale, Gold is the second-highest
level attainable. It is one level above the target level (Silver)
set by the University of California system for all new
construction, and two levels above the standard set by the State of
California (base LEED certified) for all new public buildings.

“Earning Gold certification for a structure as complex as the
Science & Engineering Building is a major achievement for the
design and construction team,” said Thomas Lollini, FAIA, associate
vice chancellor for physical planning, design and construction.
“With four of our first five buildings earning Gold certification,
we now believe we can raise our previous minimum standard from
Silver to Gold. It is our intention to meet or exceed the minimum
requirements for Gold certification on all future campus
structures, making UC Merced by far the most environmentally
progressive campus in the nation.”

Lollini said the university is actively sharing its sustainable
development practices with others throughout the Central Valley and
beyond in hopes of raising the performance bar for all new
construction. Architects and builders from throughout the United
States and as far as Japan, Russia and Singapore have visited the
campus to learn about sustainable design, construction and
operation of the buildings.

“We want UC Merced to serve as a model of sustainable
development, showcasing the many ways to make wise use of water,
energy, sunlight and other precious resources in a highly
cost-effective manner,” he said. “Sustainable building practices
are gaining unstoppable momentum around the world because of their
many benefits to the environment, to the people who use today’s
buildings and to future generations. It is fitting that the first
new American research university of the 21
stcentury should lead the way toward a sustainable future.”

The U.S. Green Building Council is an independent, nonprofit
organization that uses a point system to rate buildings on 69
different measures of sustainability. Ratings are based on the
total number of points awarded, as follows

Points Rating
0-25 Not Rated
26-32 Base Certified
33-38 Silver Certified
39-51 Gold Certified
52-69 Platinum Certified

More Information