University of the Pacific Seeks Silver LEED Rating for its New $38M Campus Center

University of the Pacific Seeks Silver LEED Rating for its New $38M Campus Center

The University of the Pacific is seeking a LEED silver designation for its new two-story 55,000-square-foot, $38 million University Center.

The structure is the university's first green building.

Energy efficient features include retractable skylights, daylight sensors, large windows and doors for natural lighting and cooling, and a mixed-mode heating and air conditioning system that also supports natural ventilation.

The center is expected to use 50 percent less water than other comparable conventional buildings. Landscaping is irrigated with non-potable water pumped from the adjacent Calaveras River. The building's dishwashers use a minimum amount of water and restrooms are equipped with dual-flush toilets.

Recycled materials were incorporated throughout the building. The items include glass tiles in the restrooms, concrete in the lobby, segments of tires among the roofing material and fabric panels that decorate event space. Recycled wood was used in the flooring for event space, inside a restaurant, on a deck and for the ceiling of the main lobby.

In addition, non-toxic paint was used for the outdoor conference space and vegetated swales were created near the building to filter rainwater runoff before it enters the city's storm drain system.

The green components and fixtures accounted for about $400,000 of the building's cost, but is expected to be offset in part by the energy efficient and water conservation features.

Building amenities include a two-story entry atrium, wireless Internet inside and outside the building, entertainment venues, high-tech meeting rooms, a 7,000-square-foot ballroom and a gaming room called the "Next Generation Arcade," which has three Xbox game units and television screens with surround sound. All campus dining services have been relocated to the center and range from casual cafe selections to a pub and a restaurant.

The building project took less than two years. Groundbreaking occurred in October 2006 with major construction beginning in winter 2007 and ending in mid-August just before classes resumed for the fall semester. Final certification is expected in early 2009. Devcon Construction Inc. of Milpitas, Calif., was the building contractor and the Gensler firm of San Francisco was the architect.