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Implementing Innovation in Design Meaures at Glen Mor 2

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Implementing Innovation in Design Meaures at Glen Mor 2

By Sustainability Interns | March 16, 2015

Since my time as a LEED intern at the UCR Office of Sustainability, I have been exposed to the various ways UCR and other schools have designed their green buildings. Many universities have joined the movement to build LEED certified buildings, and many of them are seeking more than just certification – but a higher level of certification.

As a result, many students are now valuing their campus’s sustainability more so than before. Almost two thirds (63%) of the 10,300 respondents to The Princeton Review’s 2008 College Hopes & Worries Survey indicated that they would value having information about a college’s commitment to the environment and that it might impact their decision to apply to or attend the school. Sustainability is becoming a movement – no doubt about it.

I was especially impressed with how LEED embraced the competitiveness and offers the ability to shoot for higher certification levels by attempting to earn additional points in the Innovation in Design/Operations category (ID). This category rewards owners with bonus points for going above and beyond in other credits, and by “going above and beyond” I mean doubling the progress that is required by the credit. This, by no means, is an easy task since meeting any credit already means that a building is much more sustainable than their common counterparts. For example, to earn all five points in the On-site and Off-site Renewable Credit, 75% of its energy used must be off-site renewable energy or 9% must be on-site renewable energy. In order for this to obtain an “exemplary performance” point in ID category, 100% of the energy used must be off-site renewable or 12% must be on-site renewable. This is a whopping 25% difference! UCR Glen Mor 2 is attempting this credit by making sure at least 13% of the energy used is renewable energy from our Solar Farm.

Apart from being exceptional in another credit, a building can also obtain an Innovation point from picking a pilot-credit from a list provided or by building a new path in sustainability. The pilot credits are all ways to be more sustainable in ways that are not already mentioned in the other credits. For example, Clean Construction, a pilot credit in the Sustainable Sites category, requires that all vehicles and equipment used for construction meet the USEPA Tier 4 standards and release less particulate particle emissions.

A new innovative path to sustainability can also take form of an education program. Something that was implemented in Glen Mor 1 and 2 was sustainability education in form of a door hanger. Every residential door has information about how Glen Mor 1 & 2 is sustainable and more importantly, what actions residents can take to live more sustainable on-campus and when they go home for the holidays/breaks. This is really helpful, it educates students and helps the plant by everyone taking a small part of the responsibility.

Innovation in Design is where original ideas blossom within LEED certification, and it is what sparks innovation within the green building industry. I look forward to seeing how else other campuses use this category, and how UCR will continue stepping up to the plate.

by Xavier Hernandez

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University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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University Village
1223 University Avenue, Suite 200

Tel: (951) 827-1270
Fax: (951) 827-3890
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