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Pacific Adopts Green Building Policy

Oct 1, 2011

Effective January 1, 2010, all buildings and building renovations that cost more than $1 million at the University of the Pacific will be green. The University's Board of Regents approved the new policy at the Fall 2009 meeting in Stockton.

The policy calls for new buildings to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) "Silver"-level certification requirements. Pacific will also secure a cost estimate for LEED certification or equivalent of all renovation projects costing more than $1 million.

The University opened its first LEED-certified building - the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center - in 2008. It was the first LEED-certified building in San Joaquin County. Over the summer, the University also broke ground on the new John T. Chambers Technology Center which also will be LEED certified.

"This policy was really driven by the desires of our students, staff and faculty who want the University to be a role model for the community," said Tom Zuckerman, chairman of the Board of Regents. "Our investment in green buildings will produce long-term savings for the University in heating, cooling, water costs, and we will produce less waste."

The LEED Green Building Rating System is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The program was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.

The LEED system is designed to promote a "whole-building approach to sustainability" through five key areas of human and environmental health; sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. LEED-certified projects usually cost less to operate and maintain than conventional buildings largely because they are energy- and water- efficient. On average, they save 30 percent on energy and up to 50 percent on drinkable water compared to conventional buildings.

The University is a member of the USGBC. Other members include Santa Clara University, Stanford University, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, San Diego State, MIT and Harvard.