As if helping to create the largest net zero development project ever planned weren’t enough, the University of California (UC) Davis has garnered further green building cred with the recent announcement that it has earned its third LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, more than any other UC campus.
The university’s latest platinum project is an 83,000-square-foot complex housing the UC Davis Conference Center and Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. Hall, home of the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. Gallagher Hall is now the first platinum MBA school in California and only the third nationwide. Together with the Conference Center — which hosts nearly 500 conferences annually, including last year’s Governors’ Global Climate Summit 3 — it uses 30 percent less energy than a typical office building.
This new LEED Platinum complex joins the UC Davis Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science — which last year became the first brewery, winery and food-processing complex in the world to earn this designation — and the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center in Incline Village, Nevada, which took the certification in 2007. Both Gallagher Hall and the Mondavi Institute buildings were funded, in part, by private philanthropy, including a $10 million gift from Gallagher, a Las Vegas airline executive and alumnus, and his wife Marcia, and $20 million in other private contributions.
According to Steven C. Currall, dean of the management school, this latest LEED accomplishment is a reflection of UC Davis’ culture of environmental responsibility, further evidenced by the university’s focus on sustainable transportation choices; aggressive recycling, composting and reuse efforts; locally sourced food policy; energy efficiency; and long-term campus-wide carbon reduction plan.