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UCI’s Sue & Bill Gross Hall earns LEED Platinum rating

The campus’s second platinum certification is added to a growing list of LEED-rated buildings

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: December 22, 2011

UC Irvine has earned its second LEED Platinum rating in a month, this time for the Sue & Bill Gross Hall: A CIRM Institute. The campus adds the certification to its eight LEED Gold ratings.

The $80 million, 100,000-square-foot building, which is part of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, houses the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, with a patient clinic and rehabilitation center, and stem cell research labs. It opened to much fanfare in the spring of 2010, adding more prestige to UCI’s track record of distinguished scientists and groundbreaking medical research.

"This is a great day for UC Irvine's sustainability program," said Richard Demerjian, UCI’s director of environmental planning and sustainability. "Gross Hall is one of the most energy-efficient lab buildings in the U.S."

The U.S. Green Building Council awards the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design accreditations in accordance with a categorized point system. New or retrofitted structures are graded on categories that include site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.

Gross Hall received high marks for its energy-saving features, including dimmable and occupancy-controlled lighting systems; mechanical systems with 50 percent higher efficiency than California’s Title 24 requirements; and the use of energy-saving building materials. Another unusual feature of the building: It has operable windows that can be opened for ventilation. The windows are also tied to the building's main heating and air-conditioning systems; when a window in a room is opened, the ventilation system in that room will automatically turn off, saving energy.

"This LEED Platinum certification recognizes Gross Hall's extraordinary energy efficiency, plus its many other green building features," Demerjian said, "further establishing UC Irvine as a national leader in campus sustainability."

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