LEED Lab in action: UCSB project certifies under LEED v4 O+M

Published on: 
18 May 2016
Sarah Merricks

As one of the greenest campuses in the country, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) is deeply committed to fostering a culture of sustainability. Green building is a top priority at UCSB: all new buildings on campus must certify to LEED Gold, and UCSB is a leader in certification for existing buildings. In total, UCSB has nearly 70 LEED-certified buildings, totaling more than 2.6 million gross square feet of certified space.

UCSB’s path to a sustainable future for all

UCSB’s approach to sustainability goes beyond just committing to green building. It are also focused on training the next generation to become global sustainability citizens, so that we can ensure a sustainable future for all. With this in mind, USGBC's LEED Lab course was a natural fit for UCSB to help them meet their vision. A multidisciplinary immersion course, LEED Lab uses the built environment to prepare students to become green building leaders. In the course, students learn the principles of LEED by choosing one existing building on their campus where they lead and facilitate the entire LEED O+M process.

UCSB: A LEED Lab success story

During the 2014–2015 year, UCSB held their first LEED Lab course—with impressive results. A diverse, interdisciplinary group of 22 students, led by Cassidy Green and Brandon Kaysen, worked over the course of a year to certify the UCSB Student Resource Building (SRB).

LEED Lab was designed to prepare students for 21st-century careers in sustainability by providing them with the skills and competencies they need to be successful post-graduation. In the UCSB course, the students broke into six groups and each took responsibility for one of six LEED credits, gaining practical experience with the principles of LEED. UCSB’s course kicked off with a LEED Charrette—a workshop where students brainstormed, discussed and strategized how they could meet the standards for a number of credit categories. Following this, the students conducted a 90-day analysis of the SRB’s facilities, assessing all the features of the building that go into making it sustainable. The students worked to submit the project to GBCI for review, leading the entire documentation process themselves, and then prepared for and took the LEED Green Associate exam.

We are excited to announce that in April 2016, UCSB’s SRB building achieved LEED Gold for LEED v4 O+M. This is the first LEED Lab project to receive certification post-pilot. Congratulations to Cassidy, Brandon and the 22 UCSB students whose hard work made this possible!

Learn more about launching a LEED Lab on your campus