UC Irvine Exceeds Energy-Reduction Goal of Federal Better Buildings Challenge

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy recognized UC Irvine for surpassing its Better Buildings Challenge goal of improving campus energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020. The Better Buildings Challenge was launched by President Barack Obama in 2011 with the goal of making American commercial and industrial buildings 20 percent more efficient by 2020. UC Irvine is the first educational institution in the nation to meet or exceed this objective. We met the challenge 7 years early, consuming 23 percent less energy in 2013 than in 2008, the base year for our commitment.

Our campus achieved this goal by implementing measures that reduce energy use and associated carbon emissions by half or more including: interior and exterior lighting upgrades, heating ventilation and air conditioning retrofits, and information technology and data center efficiency projects. Our Smart Labs Initiative involved reengineering building ventilation control systems from bottom to top reducing lab building energy use by more than 50 percent.

"In achieving this goal, we hope to demonstrate what's possible and inspire others to step up to the challenge of reaching for a higher goal," said Wendell Brase, Vice Chancellor of Administrative and Business Services. "To further show our support for this initiative, we have pledged another 20 percent efficiency improvement by the program's target date of 2020."

"Facilities Management is proud to have been instrumental in helping UC Irvine achieve this goal and looks forward to helping the campus further reduce its energy use in the coming years," said Marc Gomez, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities Management and Environmental Health & Safety.

Better Buildings Challenge