University Hall: Going Green!

Project Leads: Rebecca Anderson & Ian Baldridge
U Hall Green Coffee Hour
Sponsor: Environment, Health & Safety

TGIF Grant: $10,000

Project Theme: Education & Behavior Change

Project Location

2008 Application Submission

Status: Complete

Project Description: Occupants of University Hall undertook a series of sustainability initiatives with gaining LEED EB certification as the end goal. This project applied for points in "Energy & Atmosphere: optimize energy performance", "Materials & Resources: solid waste management", "Indoor Environmental Quality: entryway systems", and "Innovation in Operations: communication, education". The project replaced inefficient appliances, implemented a composting system, put up window film, and hosted sustainable coffee hours in University Hall.

Goals: Reduce University Hall's carbon footprint by using student and staff efforts to integrate sustainable practices into building operations, and then communicating those efforts as a model for other campus buildings in developing sustainable operations. Assist UC Berkeley in reaching its Cal-CAP goals. Assist UC Berkeley in meeting UCOP Green Building Initiatives. Measure and record kilowatt hours saved, waste diverted from landfills, and indoor air quality improvement post-implementation of sustainability initiatives. Hire a student intern. Conduct education and outreach for University Hall occupants. Reduce electricity costs of refrigerators by $750/year.

2008-2009 Accomplishments
Several projects in University Hall have been completed on the path to LEED:EBOM certification, including the replacement of several inefficient appliances, application of window film to cut down on heat and glare, and a green coffee hour outreach event held in December for all building occupants. After a series of such sustainability education events, the project team realized that more information needed to be made available to building occupants to change behavior. For this purpose money has been re-allocated to develop a website and additional publicity materials, which will continue to be designed through the beginning of the fall semester.

2009 Year-End Report

2009-2010 Accomplishments
Appliance Replacement: A total of 11 refrigerators were disposed of and replaced with 7 energy star model refrigerators based on the appliance audit conducted by Building Sustainability @ Cal during 2008-2009. In addition, the 3rd floor break-room inefficient coffee maker and hotplate were replaced with an energy efficient model coffee maker and electric hot water kettle.
Task Lighting: Approximately 300 task lights were purchased and distributed to building occupants. This resulted in increased enthusiasm in building occupants, and reduced usage of overhead lighting, which had energy saving and ergonomic benefits. The distribution of task lights fulfilled a LEED Credit for Existing Buildings, Operations & Maintenance Certification (IEQ credit 2.2).
Window Film Pilot Project: This project is in the beginning phases. Two offices on the 3rd floor have been retrofitted with window film with good results. Feedback from the occupants suggested that the window film helped to reduce heat loading in the summer as well as glare from direct sun. This summer, the remaining offices on 3rd floor will be retrofitted with window film.
Outreach / Education: Two "Green Coffee Hour" events have been held in the building, one each year since TGIF granted the building funding. The University Hall "Green Coffee Hour" has been an event where occupants can come and gather to discuss sustainability- both for in the office and at home- and enjoy a mid-afternoon snack and coffee. The event includes educational material showcases by vendors in the sustainable field) and campus groups which support sustainability.
The University Hall Going Green! project has plans to complete the two outstanding project components (Outreach/Education and Window Film Pilot Project) by Fall, 2010. Pending results of the building commissioning, University Hall is planning on submitting documentation for LEED-EBOM certification by January, 2011 (Note: This has been delayed.)

2010 Year-End Report

2010-2011 Accomplishments
The project leaders

  • Purchased window film supplies and scheduled 2 "demo days" for staff, inviting students from Green Campus to come and participate.
  • Hired Green Campus for spring and summer 2011 to complete mass installations of window film.
  • Purchased a new Energy Star replacement refrigerator.
  • Hired Miki Sankary, a student intern for summer 2010 and spring 2011, who conducted a water audit, completed buildings newsletters, and provided outreach.
  • Continued distributing task lighting to building staff.

2011-2012 Accomplishments
Finished installations of window film in offices throughout University Hall with the help of Green Campus.

Promotional and Educational Materials

Project Photos

Final Report

Final Project Timeline

Summer 2008 Materials purchased for window film.
Fall 2008 BS@C students conducted a survey of break room and personal appliances, identifying potential replacements for old, non-energy efficient models. Individuals with personal appliances (focusing on refrigerators) were encouraged to instead share appliances with larger populations.
  Began developing website content; discussed with IST the potential for having their department create the website. Determined that having IST involved in design was too expensive.
Winter 2008 Held the first Green Coffee Hour for University Hall, showcasing task lighting and sustainable practices.
Summer 2012 Outreach was conducted to various departments who owned appliances identified as needing to be replaced. Replacements were made as necessary, including:
  Room 140 previously had 2 personal refrigerators with a combined 911 kwh/year (estimated). These refrigerators were replaced with one 18.2 ft3 standard refrigerator (energy star certified) with an estimated 383 kwh/year.
  Room 171 previously had 4 personal refrigerators and one standard size refrigerator with a combined kwh/year of 3269 (estimated). This was replaced with one energy star refrigerator with an estimated 400 kwh/year.
  The School of Public Health Library had one standard size refrigerator that was manufactured in 1984; this refrigerator used an estimated 1345 kwh/year and was replaced with an energy star certified 18.2 ft3 standard refrigerator with an estimated 383 kwh/year.
  The 3rd floor had 2 older standard size refrigerators replaced with energy star models and had an older, large coffee maker replaced with a new smaller version as well as an energy efficient hot pot.
  The refrigerator in 615 was replaced with a 4.09 ft3 energy star qualified refrigerator which uses approximately 270 kwh/yr.
  The 2nd floor had older, non-energy star compliant refrigerator (Haier Model BC-111) 4 replaced with a 4.4 ft3 Danby energy star model which uses 275 kwh/year.
Spring 2009 Met with Innovative Design, a student design group interested in designing the University Hall website. Unfortunately Innovative Design was not available in the summer and the lack of content slowed progress- website project was cancelled.
Summer 2009 Window film application was tested in one office. Occupant reported rave reviews.
Fall 2009 A sign-up sheet for "DIY" window film was circulated. Efforts were made to provide the DIY volunteers with training and materials for window film application. This effort resulted in a decrease in volunteer enthusiasm after seeing the amount of skill and effort involved.
Winter 2009 Second Green Coffee Hour held.
Spring 2011 – Summer 2011 Student intern hired to coordinate sustainability education for University Hall. Student intern was able to produce monthly newsletters, FAQ sheets and posters for the building.
Fall 2011 Window film installation completed by GO! Team. A total of 12 offices had window film installed on the 3rd floor.

The project had four distinct parts, each with their own accomplishments.

  1. Appliance Replacement: Throughout the building old, energy-intensive appliances (mainly refrigerators) were replaced with energy star models. Annual energy savings from this project is projected. In addition, this project garnered goodwill in the building and built up enthusiasm for sustainability. Many departments were utilizing refrigerators that barely met their needs, simply because the discretionary funding did not exist for their replacement. The new energy star model refrigerators not only saved energy but also better served the needs of the departments, showing that sustainability can be easy and enjoyable.
  2. Task Lighting: At the time of this grant's inception (2009), the majority of University Hall occupants resided in single offices or 2-3 person shared office spaces. An initial survey by Building Sustainability at Cal (BS@C) of University Hall occupants found that out of 304 offices, only 49 offices used task lighting while the rest relied on overhead lighting which is energy intensive and can result in eye strain. Most University Hall workers use computers for their daily work and the brightly lit overhead lights can produce glare on monitor screens, leading residents to experience eyestrain, fatigue and headaches. Task lighting reduces glare and gives occupants the ability to control and vary the amount of light they receive based on the task at hand.
    1. In addition to the ergonomic benefits, task lighting saves energy. Typical overhead lighting in a University Hall office consumes 240 watts while the task lighting distributed as part of this grant utilized Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, which consumed only 14 watts each. Reducing our dependence on overhead lighting also helps the building regulate temperature in the summer months. University Hall is not mechanically cooled and keeping overhead lights off during warm days can reduce the heat load experienced.
    2. A few additional things contributed to the success of task lighting:
      1. Choosing attractive task lamps: For this grant, three different task lamps, each a slightly different style and all costing under ten dollars each were purchased. The project was well received in part because residents were offered a choice of task lamps and special attention was paid to ensuring the lamps would be considered attractive and functional by the majority of residents. This included purchasing task lamps that would provide "ambient light" as opposed to "directional light". Most task lights used in office settings are directional and are meant to be used to light a specific task at hand. What University Hall residents were looking for is an ambient style light that would provide a warm glow to their entire desk area.
      2. Offering a choice of CFLs: CFLs come in a wide variety of shades of white light, ranging from yellowish to white to bluish white light. Purchasing CFLs in a variety of shards allowed the residents to customize the mood of their spaces. Most occupants preferred "warm" color CFLs, which match the yellowish light of incandescent bulbs, while some others gravitated towards "cooler" colors (whiter or bluer lights) which more closely matched natural daylight.
      3. Holding educational outreach events for task light distribution: The majority of task lights were distributed through educational outreach events. This allowed the Green Team to educate occupants on the benefits of task lighting (both environmental and ergonomic), how to use CFLs and how to dispose of CFLs properly. There were many misconceptions to overcome on the use of CFLs; holding face-to-face educational events helped to educate occupants and change behavior at work and at home.
    3. The task lighting project was funded jointly by TGIF and CACS Green Fund; over 200 task lights were distributed in University Hall and many other buildings on campus have asked for advice in implemented similar programs for their buildings. For more information on the task lighting project, please see the attached Green Fund Grant task lighting poster.
  3. Window Film: Most offices in University Hall have either East or West facing windows. Because of this, there is a large amount of heat loading in the building. Occupants on the 3rd floor asked if a pilot program for the building could be launched, installing window film on that floor to see how the film made a difference in heat loading. Occupants volunteered to self-install window film in their offices.
    1. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to tell what difference window film has made. Installation of the firm proved to be time consuming and challenging; after seeing the amount of work involved, most occupants decided not to install any window film at all.
    2. Eventually the GO! Team was hired to help install film; while this did prove to be a big help, GO! Team members still had to be trained and supervised during installation, which slowed progress. In addition, most occupants who wanted film couldn't make their offices available at reasonable times for the installation to take place. Only a total of 12 offices had window film installed.
  4. Outreach: University Hall held its first "green coffee hour" in fall 2008; the green coffee hour was designed to an educational and fun event. Coffee and pastries were provided and occupants were encouraged to "BYOM: bring their own mugs". All occupants who practiced BYOM were entered into a drawing for a bicycle helmet, reusable shopping bag or "I heart tap water" reusable bottle. BS@C did informational tabling on recycling and task lighting. The event was light-hearted and fun for all.
    1. A second green coffee hour was held in 2009; this time the event was expanded to including tabling from local/relevant sustainability organizations including City CarShare.
    2. Since then many other buildings have held green coffee hour events patterned after this initial event at University Hall.

This project is expected to save money annually due to:

  • The replacement of energy-intensive appliances with energy efficient models. 12 personal and standard size fridges were replaced with Energy Star efficient models to acheive at least 6014 kwh/year in savings, plus additional uncalculated energy savings from replacing a large inefficient coffee maker with a small new one in addition to an energy efficient hot pot.
  • The reduction in use of overhead lighting through providing task lighting to occupants. Overhead lighting in University Hall offices use an estimated 0.24 kw/hr per office. Using only task lighting results in an energy usage of 0.028 kw/hr per office (assuming two task lights per office). It is estimated that there are a total of 304 offices in University Hall. This means that in University Hall, relying on overhead lighting for all offices would use 72.96 kwh; switching to task lighting reducing the energy consumption to 8.512 kwh, saving a total of 64.448 kwh. (Please note: the 0.24 kw/hr overhead lighting energy consumption is an estimate that was made prior to the lighting retrofit project completed in University Hall after this TGIF grant was awarded and implemented). 

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.