BREEAM Excellent (70.3%)
Version: BREEAM USA In-Use: 2016
Owner: Davis Facilities Management
Assessor Organization: Healthy Buildings Inc.
Why did this building undergo BREEAM Certification?
The Energy Conservation Office (ECO) is home to the Energy & Engineering team at the University of California – Davis. Energy & Engineering’s mission is to improve building performance and eliminate energy waste at the building level to further UC Davis’ carbon neutrality goals and practice sustainable stewardship on campus. The Energy Conservation Office is a testbed for building technology and is an office space for students and staff who are dedicated to collaborating with campus partners to make buildings operate more efficiently. It made sense to pursue BREEAM here to showcase our innovative mindset and efficient operations, as well as serve as a valuable learning opportunity for the Green Buildings Team to further green building certification on campus. It is the newest building to become BREEAM certified and is the first U.S. building to complete all three parts of the BREEAM assessment.
“Working on BREEAM has widened my perspective on how progressive UC Davis is in terms of sustainability. We continuously strive towards our goals, and with staff who specialize in saving energy, it’s no wonder we’re so far ahead. BREEAM delves deep into a building’s goals and shows the importance of each requirement. With BREEAM, the Rifle Range shows off its environmental and energy contributions towards UC Davis’ campus goals.” Aileen Jiang, Green Buildings Intern, Green Buildings Team
Green Strategy and Environmental Features
The Energy Conservation Office received an Excellent rating in all three assessment portions: Asset Performance, Building Management, and Occupier Management. Some unique features that contributed to the Excellent rating include:
- 8 solar tubes that use mirrors to harness sunlight and reduce electric lighting occupant usage.
- The daylight occupant sensors within the overhead lighting system adjust to different levels of natural light. Individual office overheads can be adjusted to create a custom-comfort work environment and minimize excess light.
- Two skylights with remote-controlled adjustable shades to increase the availability of natural light and decrease the need for strong overhead lighting.
- The Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS) unit helps circulate fresh air in and out of the building by using the temperature differences between the inside and outside air to pre-heat or pre-cool air that is coming in. It also has metering capabilities that improve the monitoring capability of the building’s energy usage and increases efficiency.
- Fans designed to heat or cool air in a localized space. The localized air recirculation utilizes less energy than most typical heating and cooling units.
- The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units are powered entirely by electricity. This switch was a part of the building’s transition away from gas-powered heating.
- 5,660 ft2 total planted area that includes low-maintenance plants such as moonshine yarrow, California fuchsia, blue sage, and more.
“What makes BREEAM unique apart from other green building certifications is its dedication to improving not only the building’s efficiency, but also the satisfaction of the building’s occupants. I can say with confidence that after completing the Rifle Range’s BREEAM assessment and all projects following, that sustainability will continue to remain one of UC Davis’ topmost goals. BREEAM has demonstrated that it’s not just about checking a credit off as complete; it’s about maintaining those green standards for years to come.” Nora Jang, Green Buildings Intern, Green Buildings Team
What benefits does BREEAM give you?
“Building users know their building best and are most affected by the environment in and around the building, which is why it is important for users to understand the components of a rating system. The straightforward BREEAM manual allows building users to rate their building regardless of technical background. The UC Davis team had all the tools and drive to successfully navigate this BREEAM project with little to no guidance from an expert and had a great opportunity to better understand how their building is performing and the importance of making sustainable improvements.” – Ysela Larios, PT Sustainability Associate, Healthy Buildings
“Building users know their building best and are most affected by the environment in and around the building, which is why it is important for users to understand the components of a rating system. The straightforward BREEAM manual allows building users to rate their building regardless of technical background. The UC Davis team had all the tools and drive to successfully navigate this BREEAM project with little to no guidance from an expert and had a great opportunity to better understand how their building is performing and the importance of making sustainable improvements.” Ysela Larios, PT Sustainability Associate, Healthy Buildings
What value does certification bring to the development?
“Energy and Engineering is an organization that propels the UC Davis campus’ energy and sustainability goals. Within ECO, we strive to provide educational tools, outreach and energy projects that help the campus operate more efficiently and save energy. As an office, we take pride in working in an energy-efficient space and as an organization that promotes the health and well-being of our staff. BREEAM allowed us to evaluate our current processes and metrics, and recognize areas were we excel while identifying others that we could improve upon.” – Alex Malm, Green Buildings Project Manager, Green Buildings Team
“BREEAM is a comprehensive evaluation of sustainability performance. We knew ECO had a low carbon footprint prior to the project, but this certification confirmed that our operations and management are also worthy of recognition from a sustainability perspective. The breadth of the BREEAM rating system helped us identify areas to continue to prioritize, as well areas to define metrics for track to reach an even higher bar.” Alex Malm, Green Buildings Project Manager, Green Buildings Team
“BREEAM fits our approach of evaluating buildings in a comprehensive way to improve their performance and meet occupant needs in the most sustainable way possible.” Joshua Morejohn, Energy Manager, Energy Conservation Office
“Introducing BREEAM to our portfolio of green building certifications has greatly expanded our efforts. The online tools aids us in easily tracking, comparing and planning for future efforts. The data compiled for the BREEAM In-Use projects allows me to reach out to those in the field to set sustainability goals with the facts. Making this easier has increased the interest in greening our buildings, which is always a win-win for staff and students.” Amy Burns, Sustainability Officer, Facilities Management
The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units are powered entirely by electricity. This switch was a part of the building’s transition away from gas-powered heating. The Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS) unit helps circulate fresh air in and out of the building by using the temperature differences between the inside and outside air to preheat or precool air that is coming in. It also has metering capabilities that improve the monitoring capability of the building’s energy usage and increases efficiency. Fans designed to heat or cool air in a localized space. The localized air recirculation utilizes less energy than most typical heating and cooling units.
The asset’s interior is fitted with many features intended to improve indoor occupant comfort. All windows have manually controlled solar shading and occupants have personal control over work area temperature via thermostat control. Other hospitable asset features include occupant access to Energy Star-rated filtered water, indoor and outdoor rest spaces, and natural ventilation. The asset is fitted with CO2 monitors and there are ample policies in place for minimizing the use of harmful volatile organic compounds within proximity of the site. Occupant satisfaction is taken into regular account in the form of feedback procedures and surveys. Building staff receive regular communication covering health, safety, and well-being issues.
The UC Davis campus continues to pride itself on being an exceptionally bike-friendly environment. Proximal to the asset are ample well-lit secure cycle racks and a public transport network within 0.75 miles of the building easily accessible by pedestrians. Amenities, including a food cart, are also conveniently located next to the asset. Multiple transportation arrangements are set in place to monitor against set targets. While within the Rifle Range, transportation arrangements consist of carpooling, biking, and being fuel-efficient, there are multiple UC Davis policies that apply as well. UC Davis staff and students have access to the goClub program, Jump Bikes, UC Davis Campus Travel Survey, Transportation Demand Management, and Loading Management Arrangements to name a few.
The asset sorts waste into 4 bins: landfill, glass/metal/plastic recycling, paper recycling, and compost. There are four main bins located in the kitchen common area, and multiple smaller paper and trash bins are located throughout the office spaces. Bins are adequately labelled to allow ease of use for staff. The University supports the integration of waste, climate and other sustainability goals, including the reduction of embodied carbon in the supply chain through the promotion of a circular economy and the management of organic waste to promote atmospheric carbon reduction.
The asset is a low-pollutant environment, with no presence of liquids containing secondary containment storage stored on-site and no light-liquid separators on site. The building does maintain response procedures should there be a pollution incident and there is a complaints procedure in place that deals with any issues relating to the asset and associated operations, including noise, odor, and light.