CLAS Going Green
Xeriscaping at CLAS
Xeriscaping: new landscaping at CLAS using plants with little need for irrigation.

Reporting from the UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability about the CLAS Going Green effort

The Center for Latin American Studies is reducing our carbon footprint. With the support of key partners including Berkeley's Office of Sustainability, The Green Initiative Fund, Smart Lights and others we aim to greatly improve the efficiency of our building as well as throughout our business practices in the areas of energy (electricity, transportation, heating, and gas), water and waste.

This effort at CLAS both stems from and expands upon our broader program goals related to Alternative Energy in the Americas.  We collaborate with public and private sector leaders from Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica and the United States to engage the challenges related to alternative energy generation, energy efficiency measures, and achieving carbon neutrality in the face of climate change. Now we hope to address these issues in our own workplace here on the Berkeley campus.

As a part of this effort we strive to become a "Green Certified" building as we move toward the long-term goal of becoming LEED certified for Existing Buildings. LEED-EBOM certification will provide a broadly recognized rating of our efforts in our target areas: waste generation and management, energy use and performance, and water consumption.

With the support of a grant from The Green Initiative Fund, CLAS will be commissioning so that we can evaluate our priorities. We also were awarded funds to hire a Building Sustainability at Cal intern who is conducting waste, water, energy and general efficiency audits to provide recommendations for improved behavior and practices of the CLAS staff and programs.

Some highlights:

Compact flourescent bulb at CLAS Bike rack at CLAS
Energy efficient lighting: in Summer 2009 CLAS contracted with Smart Lights to provide energy-sensitive illumination. Improved transportation: CLAS recently installed a bike rack in the front of our building, encouraging staff, students and scholars to use alternative transportation.
Other initiatives include: commissioning; xeriscaping; ergonomics and work-space energy efficiency; daylighting; recycling; reusable kitchenware; and behavior modification.

 

Our partners in this project:
Community Energy Service Corporation's Smart Lights program: http://www.ebenergy.org/smart-lights/
Berkeley's Green Initiative Fund: http://tgif.berkeley.edu/drupal-6.4/index.php
UC Berkeley's Office of Sustainability: http://sustainability.berkeley.edu/OS/
Building Sustainability at CAL: http://enviro.berkeley.edu/node/2489
LEED-EBOM: http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=221

 

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