Revealing UCLA’s Green Foundations, Literally

By Claire Hirashiki

As illustrated by the ambitious endeavors of student organizations and the increased swell in green policies on campus, the UCLA population is ablaze with environmental activity to demonstrate its rapidly blossoming commitment to the green movement. However, few realize that UCLA’s progressive approach has gone unrecognized in certain aspects, with one being the implementation of sustainable practices in the construction and renovation of campus buildings.

Todd Lynch, Alexandra Stream, and Danh Lai

Todd Lynch, Alexandra Stream, and Danh Lai

 In order to illuminate this hidden fact, five undergraduate students, brought together by their environmentally conscious perspectives, will play an integral role in demonstrating UCLA’s environmental efforts to develop sustainable architecture on campus. Comprised of members Justin Brandt, Elizabeth Roswell, and Alexandra Stream, and directed by leaders Claire Hirashiki and Danh Lai, the ESLP ART Green Buildings Team has formed for the first time with the assistance of a varied but unified collection of student and faculty backgrounds to tackle this interdisciplinary topic. The Principal Project Planner for UCLA Capital Programs, Todd Lynch will continue his role as an ESLP ART stakeholder by acting as the Green Building Team’s guiding force in their project to document and survey UCLA’s existing buildings for LEED qualification. 

In exploring the certification process, the team members have started making preparations in understanding the criteria of the LEED rating system and its specific application to university campuses. This past Thursday, the Green Buildings Team experienced a firsthand look at the procedure by joining Barton Phelps and Associates and the student organization USGBC Students at UCLA in a green construction tour of the Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, which recently underwent seismic renovation with Gold Standard LEED-certified Commercial Interiors.

Enthused over the imminent prospect of contributing further to UCLA’s reputation as a green campus, members of the Green Buildings Team fervently anticipate the coming weeks, as they begin to delve into the technical aspects of architectural design and approach sustainability through a new lens.