Learning and LEEDing at Cal

Project Leads: Judy Chess, Tatyana Vaschenko

Learn and LEED interns: Priscilla Chan, Rosanna Ren, Stacey Naglestad

Sponsor: Building Sustainability at Cal

TGIF Grant: $14,800

Project Theme: Energy Conservation & Efficiency

Project Location

2012 Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: This grant will fund three student interns and the expansion of the Building Sustainability at Cal LEED® Intern Program to offer project LEED® certification services for campus renovation projects currently below the threshold required by the campus Policy on Sustainable Practices.

Goals: Expand the Building Sustainability @ Cal program to provide LEED® documentation services such that the student interns would become integral parts of the project team, and plan a more major role in managing the documentation process. Develop a permanent project recharge model for these services, allowing the campus to retain resources rather than hire outside consultants. Interns will be assigned to work on specific campus renovation projects, documenting green building credits, especially on projects that would not normally be expected to document their green building practices. Interns will receive professional-level development and accreditation as LEED® professionals.

Project Context
The UC Policy on Sustainable Practices requires LEED certification for all new buildings and major renovations greater than $5M in cost. However, the policy offers limited direction for smaller projects, does not require formal certification, and does not apply to renovation projects, even though a substantial amount of change in the built environment occurs at this level. The Building Sustainability @ Cal Intern Team offers green building certification services for campus building projects. Students use LEED to support consultants managing LEED certification.

TGIF Blog Posts about Learning and LEEDing


2013 Poster

2012-2013 Accomplishments

  • All three interns achieved professional LEED® accreditation.
  • To further encourage green building performance, interns worked with UC Berkeley Capital Projects to establish a campus-wide Green Project Certification recognition program for projects below the $5m threshold for LEED® certification set by the UC Policy on Sustainable Practices.
  • The Learning and LEEDing interns drafted a specialized renovations checklist for UC Berkeley by sampling other building renovations checklists from organizations such as StopWaste and USGBC.
    • The checklist will increase incentives for cost-effective, smaller green projects, allowing the campus to further reduce their environmental footprint. Because of this program, future building projects can easily integrate more green building practices into their operations. The student interns are also given a chance to learn green building certification techniques.
  • As the interns documented the credits on pilot study campus projects, such as Anthony Hall, Calvin Hall, and Pat Brown's Grill, they also noted the efficacy of certain items on the checklist and tailored them to become accessible and applicable to the UC Berkeley campus. The findings were presented in a meeting with project managers, who reviewed the feasibility of the checklist and made suggestions to further streamline the documentation process and prompt wider use of the checklist objectives.
Year-End Report

2013-2014 Accomplishments

  • After consulting with Siegel & Strain Architects on developing the Small Renovations Checklist, further updates and revisions were made by the interns throughout spring semester 2014.
    • These updates included categorizing points based on the phase of a project (Design, Construction, and Post-Construction phases).
  • The interns conducted detailed reviews of Hellman Tennis Center and Calvin Lab, two recently completed projects on campus that pursued sustainable objectives. These two projects were assessed to simultaneously determine the feasibility of the checklist and measure the sustainable efforts of the projects.
  • In June 2014, the interns attended the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in San Diego, CA. They presented their process for developing the checklist and promoted the use of the checklist to encourage other institutions to pursue a similar program.
  • Based on the assessed projects, the interns developed a recognition system of awarding “Green Stars” to a project based on its level of sustainability. Green stars are awarded based on the percentage of points achieved out of all points that the project is eligible to achieve.
    • Hellman Tennis Center achieved just over 50% of the points it is eligible for and therefore receives a Green Star, as determined by the interns. Recognition of the achievement will be made official by the Capital Projects department.
  • In October 2015, the interns will attend and present the small renovations checklist and its more recent developments at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference in Portland, OR. View their presentation

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.