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UC Merced Pilot Partnership Update: Completion of Design for the Science and Engineering Building

Karl Brown, California Institute for Energy Efficiency


This presentation will communicate progress toward meeting the goals of the US EPA/DOE and University of California (UC) Merced Pilot Partnership. One objective is to demonstrate success in meeting ambitious design goals, providing encouragement to others who are attempting similar projects. Another objective is to provide an illustration of the potential for improvement in laboratory energy efficiency. There is also an opportunity to provide follow-up information on the implementation of the energy benchmarking system introduced at the January 2002 Labs21 Conference. Finally, the presentation can provide a preliminary assessment of the ability of a pilot project to have impact in as a model for other facilities.


The completed design of the UC Merced Science and Engineering Building has a number of interesting features that provide good energy performance. These include a four-pipe cooling and heating system, evaporative pre-cooling for laboratory make-up air and process equipment cooling, efficient lighting, and an enhanced monitoring system. The projected energy efficiency of the building exceeds design targets. Predicted energy performance has been evaluated in terms of California Title 24 Energy Standards, potential LEED™ points and the innovative benchmarking system used for campus planning and facility design. The implementation of the benchmarking system has had interesting and beneficial effects on the development of the design of the laboratory building, other buildings on the campus, and the campus infrastructure. Work toward the goal of a silver LEED™ rating is on track with a potential point list that reflects the overall campus approach to LEED™ ratings. The pilot partnership has influenced the ongoing UC policy development for "Green Buildings"

Labs21 Connection:

This presentation of the UC Merced pilot partnership emphasizes the establishment of goals, tracking of performance, continuous improvement in design, and promulgation of results to other parts of the Merced campus and the UC system. The capability for measurement of energy and water consumption has been established in the initial building designs along with substantial energy system diagnostics. This monitoring system will be a key to achievement of long-term campus goals. A number of interesting energy efficiency strategies have been employed in the design. Overall environmental impacts are being addressed partially through the LEED™ process, with whole-campus issues being important in optimizing energy performance.


Karl Brown is the Deputy Director of the California Institute for Energy Efficiency (CIEE), a part of the University of California Office of the President (UCOP). Karl began his career as a consulting engineer-including field survey and analysis of building end use efficiency. For the last eleven years Karl has planned and managed end-use energy R&D in conjunction with CIEE's partners-including California energy utilities and the California Energy Commission. His leadership of CIEE's Building Systems Program has included focus on HVAC duct leakage, diagnostics for commissioning and operations, and design of facilities for high-technology industries (e.g. laboratories). Karl also assists with energy planning for University of California facilities, most notably as an advisor to the new Merced campus and recently as a member of a working group conducting a feasibility study for a UC green building and clean energy policy.

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