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January 2010 Issue

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CARE/Crawley Building Earns Gold for Being Green

Published January 2010

The Center for Academic and Research Excellence (CARE)/ Crawley Building in the UC Academic Health Center has been awarded LEED Gold certification, emblematic of excellence in sustainable building practices.

Officially opened in September 2008, the CARE/Crawley Building houses some of the most technically advanced laboratory research and teaching space in the nation.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification provides independent verification that a building project is environmentally responsible and a healthy place to live and work. There are four levels of LEED certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Certification is particularly difficult for a laboratory facility such as the CARE/Crawley Building to earn because such facilities use far more energy than office buildings of comparable size. 

The CARE/Crawley Building’s certification was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:
  • The landscape irrigation is provided by collected rainwater in an underground 90,000-gallon stormwater detention system. This system reduces the strain on the municipal sewer system by collecting the bulk of rainfall and allowing it to migrate gradually into the storm sewer.

  • The building was designed to reduce the “Urban Heat Island” effect by minimizing hardscape, such as sidewalks and plazas, and using reflective elements for roofing. These elements, along with natural landscape, minimize the building’s heat absorption and result in energy savings.

  • The atrium features natural lighting and natural ventilation, and all of the research labs have access to natural light. Motion sensors save energy.

  • During the construction process, nearly 98 percent of the construction-related waste was recycled. The previous building on the site, a concrete parking garage, was recycled on site and used in part as fill to the surrounding landscape.

  • There was a focus on using locally and regionally extracted and manufactured materials for construction of the building.
This is the second award the building has received in the past year. In November, the CARE/ Crawley Building was selected for the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design American Architecture Awards program for 2009.

The CARE/Crawley Building is named for Edith Crawley, a UC alumna and benefactor.

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