Sierra Madre Villages Earns Top Environmental Award
UCSB’s newest apartment complex, Sierra Madre Villages, has just been awarded a LEED* Platinum certification, under ‘LEED for Homes’, by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This is the highest rating attainable and the first apartment complex at UCSB to have this distinction. Housing currently has five LEED Gold certifications: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, and Santa Rosa Residence Halls, and two for the San Clemente Village Apartments. The current San Joaquin Apartments project under construction is targeting multiple certifications, all at a level of Gold while looking for opportunities to go Platinum.
Many sustainable design measures were incorporated into the Sierra Madre Villages project, including natural ventilation and lighting, onsite stormwater retention, wetland restoration, thermal windows, trash recycling, energy star appliances, low flow toilets and faucets, solar thermal preheat of domestic water and heating, photo voltaic (PV) electric generation, natural light via large solar tubes from the roof to each internal corridor, with 100% LED lighting throughout.
UCSB Housing & Residential Services’ goals are to protect, preserve, and regenerate our environment and resources by implementing “Earth Friendly” practices at every opportunity. These initiatives will have a positive impact on the environment and support the UCSB community in becoming an ever more sustainable environment for everyone.
Working through the Division of Administrative Services, this highest level of Platinum certification was possible due to diligent collaboration with H&RS, Campus Design & Construction Services, Campus Physical Facilities, and a team of architects and consultants.
By Barry Colwell
*Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. LEED is a program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council in an effort to encourage energy and water efficiency; improve indoor environmental quality; use recycled, renewable, and locally available materials; and optimize the way the building and its site interact with the surrounding area. Within each category, points are assigned for the use of different design measures, material choices, or construction practices, the accumulation of which leads to one of four levels of certification, Platinum being the highest.