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Sustainable 2nd Century

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New halls built to exceed green standards

September 28, 2010

Photo: Wall Hall, part of the new Tercero expansion

Three brand-new residence halls, built to exceed UC Davis environmental standards, opened in time for students to move in.

Wall, Campbell and Potter halls house 592 students in the Tercero complex and are registered with the certification goal of LEED Gold, through the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building program.

These buildings are the first residence halls at UC Davis built to meet LEED standards.

“We are extremely excited to be occupying our first LEED-registered new construction facility and to see Campbell, Potter and Wall residence halls bustling with activity,” said Michael Sheehan, student housing associate director.

As of 2009, University of California policy requires that such buildings meet at least standards equivalent to LEED Silver and exceed state energy efficiency regulations by 20 percent. The new halls set higher goals in both regards, including exceeding the state energy regulations of Title 24 by more than 30 percent.

The four-story buildings use a combination of active and natural, passive ventilation for cooling and will later be equipped with photovoltaic cells.

“The natural ventilation systems work like a whole-house fan,” said Julie Nola, senior project manager. “We are able to take advantage of nighttime cooling, which provides both energy savings and better indoor air quality.”

To meet LEED standards, structures must address sustainability in relation to the building site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation. Here are some additional highlights from the new Tercero residence halls:

“We feel the halls are the most important buildings on a campus to demonstrate sustainable practices, as each year we have 600 new students who can directly learn from their environment,” said Julie Nola, senior project manager. “We show them how these buildings are helping them save water, avoid automobile use and use energy efficiently, as a few examples.”

Find out more about UC Davis' commitment to sustainability in building management, or about LEED projects in student housing specifically.

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