The "Green" Headquarters for the UCLA Institute of the Environment
In June, 2005, the UCLA Institute of the Environment moved its headquarters into the third floor of the newly constructed La Kretz Hall, a three-story, 20,000-square-foot facility named for UCLA alumnus Morton La Kretz, the principal donor to the $8.5 million project. It is the first certified "green" building on the UCLA campus.
La Kretz Hall provides classrooms for undergraduate education, office space, and facilities for academic conferences. A conference center on the first floor includes a 350-seat auditorium, two 20-seat breakout seminar rooms, and a 45-seat classroom that can be equipped for distance-learning classes.
La Kretz Hall was designed by The Smith Group architectural firm and constructed by West Coast Nielsen.
What Does it Mean to be 'Green'?
Rapidly renewable and low-emitting materials, operable windows, and low energy consumption make La Kretz Hall the first UCLA facility certified by the prestigious U.S. Green Building Council LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. La Kretz Hall is certified as a LEED Silver buliding, and UCLA is planning several more LEED-certified buildings.
The efficient mechanical systems in La Kretz Hall have sensors to measure and verify carbon dioxide content and overall air quality, providing a better working environment and lowering the buildings energy consumption. The design includes infrastructure for future installation of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) panels to provide a renewable source of energy. A displacement air system, which supplies ventilation from the floor rather than the ceiling, reduces electricity usage even further. To encourage bicycle commuting, members of the Institute of the Environment have access to changing rooms and showers.
The building sits on top of an existing 5-million gallon tank, which supplies chilled water to UCLA's air conditioning systems. Stacking the new construction above an existing structure allowed the university to save valuable land space and avoid the environmental impact of developing a new site.
Other design aspects of La Kretz Hall that satisfy certification standards of the US Green Building Council include:
- Use of recycled materials in construction. The building steel contains 80recycled content. Other materials, such as rebar, concrete, gypsum wall board, miscellaneous metals, and concrete treads also use recycled content
- Reuse of existing land, reducing the environmental impact of the new construction
- Light colored paving based on the UCLA standard, and an Energy Star roof to eliminate the heat island effect
- Interior and exterior lighting is designed to permit views of the night sky and reduce the impact on the nocturnal environment
- Carbon dioxide monitors guarantee indoor air quality
- Drought-tolerant plants instead of paving, and vines to cover the water tank and minimize storm water runoff, increase on-site filtration and reduce contaminants
- Premium water efficiency inside the building, which uses 20less water than required by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, including water-conserving plumbing fixtures that exceed EPA requirements
- Heating, ventilation, air conditioning, service hot water, lighting, and other regulated systems are all designed to reduce energy use and cost
- Natural ventilation and displacement supply in the auditorium
- Accessible areas are dedicated to separation, collection and storage for recycling paper, glass, plastics and metals generated by building users
- Low-emitting materials including adhesives, paints, coatings, carpet, and composite wood
- Use of recycled furniture and flooring throughout the IoE offices.
Published: Thursday, April 03, 2008