UCSB Library’s new and renovated buildings have been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. A summary of the green features are listed below and details are available on our LEED scorecard.
Recycled and Regional Materials
Fifteen percent of the materials in this building are made from recycled content, including flooring, service desks, acoustical ceiling and bathroom tiles, and window frames. Eleven percent of the building’s materials are regional, such as the concrete and asphalt paving. Wood from olive, pine, maple, and lemon eucalyptus trees that had to be removed during construction is being re-purposed to create some Library furnishings.
Reflective Roof and Ground
The roof of this building and paving around it are made with light-colored materials that reflect the sun, mitigating the “heat island effect” — an urban phenomenon in which the temperature is up to 10 degrees higher than in areas surrounded by vegetation. Avoiding heat islands creates less demand for energy, lowers air-conditioning costs, and cuts air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
To lower water use drought-tolerant landscaping has been planted around the building, including Canary Island and kentia palms, bougainvillea, deodar cedar, Indian hawthorn, star jasmine, mondo grass, and strawberry trees. By including low-flow toilets and faucets, and waterless urinals, this building uses 38 percent less water than similar structures around the country. Wastewater around the area is pumped to the Goleta Sanitary District for treatment, then sent back as recycled water for irrigation.
Advanced lighting controls in this building save 31 percent more energy than light fixtures in similar structures. Daylight sensors monitor the outdoors, so when enough daylight is available, the sensor dims the indoor lighting. Occupancy sensors dim lighting when they do not detect any people in a particular area.
This building uses UCSB’s chilled water loop for cooling: Energy is generated at a central place and distributed to nearby structures. As a result, individual buildings avoid the need to install and maintain their own boilers, furnaces, chillers, or air conditioners, saving huge amounts of energy as well as capital and maintenance costs.
Air-handling units for heating, cooling, and ventilation all have energy-saving and eco-friendly features. When the air outside is the temperature that we’d like inside (which is often the case in Santa Barbara), these units take that air in directly instead of cooling or heating it. Low-toxicity paints contribute to cleaner, healthier air overall.
The windows are double-paned, so they are better at insulation, and also have a coating that allows light in but blocks extra heat. Cool air doesn’t escape in summer, and heated air is captured during chillier times.