The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) honored the campus’ San Clemente Village Apartments with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold award for the second time, making the apartment complex the largest university housing facility in the nation to receive the honor.

San Clemente Village received the gold-level LEED award for new construction sites upon first opening in 2009, but after launching various projects utilizing renewable energy sources, the complex was granted its most recent certification in the field of Existing Building Operations and Maintenance. UCSB is now the only cam- pus nationwide to own a residential project earning LEED gold honors in both divisions.

The project also received “innovation credits” for ongoing sustainability efforts — including the creation of a storm water drainage system that sends runoff pollution from the complex and adjacent UCSB soc- cer fields through a rain garden — as well as for its partnership with other environmental programs around Santa Barbara County. Formed in 1993, the USGBC strives to create a system within the sustainable building industry that actively measures the “greenness” of buildings. Through their LEED program, the council has established a cer- tification and rating process based on a point system that analyzes architectural design and energy-saving strategies in new and old building projects.

The program grants eligible projects — meeting various requirements like indoor environmental quality, water usage and management efficiency, emissions reduction and conservation of resources — with glob- ally renowned honors and financial awards.

Through proposals and approval given by the Chancellor’s Campus Sustainability Committee, UCSB approved a campus-wide policy in 2002 that required all structures built after July 2004 to meet the LEED Silver standard at the least. This policy was upgraded in 2010 to require that all buildings designed after July 2010 be eligible for the LEED Gold certification.

UCSB currently has 11 LEED-certified buildings, with nine that are certified in the “new construction group.”

— Staff Report