LEED O+M: Existing Buildings v2 - LEED 2.0
UCSB Bren Hall
LEED Platinum 2009
It was the first LEED certified building in the University of California system and the first LEED Platinum certified laboratory facility in the country. As a pioneer in low-impact facilities, it went on to earn Platinum certification under LEED for Existing Buildings in 2009.
Achieving LEED Platinum under both New Construction and Existing Buildings, Bren Hall is a physical manifestation of UC Santa Barbara’s efforts in scientific and academic innovation and leadership.
The four-story laboratory building, which houses the UCSB Environmental Studies department and the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, was built in 2002 and received Platinum certification under LEED for New Construction. It was the first LEED certified building in the University of California system and the first LEED Platinum certified laboratory facility in the country. As a pioneer in low-impact facilities, it went on to earn Platinum certification under LEED for Existing Buildings in 2009.
Maximizing energy efficiency within an energy-intensive building like a laboratory was a priority for the Bren Hall design team. The offices facing the ocean have no air conditioning, instead relying on the natural ventilation provided by operable windows. To reduce energy waste, the windows are equipped with a sensor so that upon opening, the local office heaters shut off. Electricity use for lighting in Bren Hall is minimized with high-efficiency fixtures with occupancy and daylight sensors, and a 47kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof allows for on-site generation of up to 10% of the building's power.
To be even more sustainable, water is conserved with the installation of waterless urinals, low-flow fixtures, and automatic sensors on all toilets and sinks. The first floor toilets and all of the outdoor drought-tolerant landscaping irrigation use reclaimed water. Along with a composition made up of 40% recycled materials, designing and building with sustainability in mind only added 2% to the overall cost of Bren Hall, proof that cost is not a significant deterrent to environmentally-preferable construction.
In looking to certify Bren Hall under LEED for Existing Buildings, no major retrofitting was undertaken. Most of the work done was implementation of no- or low-cost measures, which allowed the building to earn an ENERGY STAR score of 99, placing it in the top percentile of similar-type buildings, and subsequently obtain Platinum certification.
Bren Hall continues to be a source of innovation and improvement, with submetering of the dry labs, wet labs, and offices, and a real-time web interface monitoring system. The building serves as a "living laboratory" for students and faculty, and enables the university to gather data and further improve use of the building for the future.