Building Green with the Team

By Alexandra Stream

As another week goes by, our team continues to lay the foundation for our green buildings project. This week, we focused on team building and, of course, more research.

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As a team building exercise, we discussed members’ personal skills and backgrounds outside of environmental science. Understanding the importance of maximizing our potential as a team, we talked about how to effectively incorporate individual skills and interests into our project.

Assigned by our stakeholder, our research this week involved sustainable project reports specific to the UCLA campus. Previously, we researched general aspects of LEED-certification and green buildings. With this week’s readings, we were able to hone in on how these aspects relate to the extensive projects at UCLA. Each of us read parts that dealt with our particular focus of LEED certification. Collectively, we now better understand different aspects of green buildings ranging from how green cleaning is implemented on campus to which refrigerants are used to minimize ozone depletion and global warming. We also learned about other campus-wide programs, such as carbon dioxide mitigation through vanpool and ride-sharing programs. I was pleasantly surprised at the wide diversity of options from which commuter students can choose to save gas and be more sustainable here at UCLA. 

In addition to our research and meetings this week, we also added plans to the agenda for the future. Next month, we will attend the UCLA Green Building Symposium - Building Better Places, put on by the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate and the Corporate Partners Program, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. This will give us an opportunity to further our education of green buildings on our campus. In addition, we made plans for a future team potluck where we will be able to discuss our work and get to know each other more. These plans will give us more tools for our project and by next week, we will be assigned specific tasks that will further lead us to our goals of documenting and surveying UCLA’s buildings on the Hill for LEED qualification.