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Bren Hall at UCSB wins 2003 Flex Your Power Energy Award

December 17, 2003

Bren Hall, the newly opened LEED™ Platinum-certified office and lab building that is home to the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, a graduate school at UC Santa Barbara, has been selected to receive a 2003 Flex Your Power Energy Efficiency Award -- one of 20 awarded around the state.

Headquartered in San Francisco, the Flex Your Power campaign, directed by the Efficiency Partnership, works with California's four investor-owned utilities (IOUs), participating municipal electric utilities (munis), and other public and private sector participants to promote energy efficiency. The campaign's primary funding comes from the Public Goods Charge as approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), as well as contributing munis and partner organizations and companies. The Flex Your Power campaign is responsible for implementing statewide energy efficiency marketing and outreach efforts in the state of California.

"[The] goal [of the Flex Your Power awards] is to acknowledge commercial and industrial organizations as well as institutions that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and extraordinary contributions in advancing California's efforts to become a world leader in energy efficiency," said a Flex Your Power representative. "Large-scale building initiatives and outreach and educational projects at California universities represent a significant effort to promote energy efficiency."

"[Bren Hall's] achievements in energy efficiency rank among the best in the state and your innovative energy-saving strategies have played a key role in helping California become a world leader in energy efficiency… By providing leadership in implementing successful efficiency measures, you have become a role model for citizens and other organizations throughout California."

Opened in April 2002, Bren Hall is the greenest laboratory building in America. Energy-efficient procedures and solutions are manifested in every facet of the building: Overall, Bren Hall surpasses Title 24 energy requirements by over 31%; photovoltaic solar panels provide 7-10% of the building's energy needs; the building is connected to the new campus water chiller loop, which reduces up to 85% load time and use; and its boiler is 85% efficient with low-emissions. The building was sited to make use of ocean breezes and natural daylight, the office wing uses no air conditioning, and sensors power off lighting and heating when rooms are not in use. The building was constructed of 40% recycled materials, and 93% of its construction waste was recycled. All materials were specified within a 350-mile radius to reduce transportation emissions. Dought-tolerant landscaping was used, maintained with reclaimed water, and waterless urinals save over 45,000 gallons of water a year.

Bren Hall represents the leading edge of the University of California's new system-wide Green Building Policy, implemented this past July.

The Flex Your Power awards ceremony will be held in the new year. To see a complete list of the winners, please visit

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