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June 13, 2005

UCSC hosting 'green campus' conference

By Louise Donahue

Creating "greener" campuses won't be all talk and no action when UCSC hosts the fourth annual statewide Sustainability Conference, June 20-21.

Butterfly

The schedule of events for the conference is available online.
Photo courtesy of Laurel Sprenger, A. Rocha USA

One of the exhibitors on hand, Biosystem Solutions, will compost some of the food waste from the conference, turning it into premium earthworm castings.

A wide range of other products--from water-saving plumbing to "green" roofing to a car-sharing service--will also be showcased.

"Building a Sustainable Campus Community" is the theme for the conference, expected to draw more than 400 students, staff, and faculty members. The conference is designed to provide campus planners and other staff with the concrete tools and knowledge for incorporating sustainability practices.

"California's universities and community colleges are uniquely positioned to help make sustainability practices a vital force in society," said Chancellor Denice D. Denton. "UC Santa Cruz is proud to host this conference to highlight best practices and new technologies in green building and energy efficiency."

Chancellor Denton will speak at the opening of the conference, planned by the UC Santa Cruz Chancellor's Sustainability Action Council. Speakers from business, engineering, higher education, and other fields will share their expertise on subjects ranging from building design to how to make dining services more sustainable.

The conference includes participants from the University of California and California State University systems as well as representatives of private and community colleges, said organizer Diane Behling, senior facilities analyst in Capital Planning and Space Management at UC Santa Cruz.

"We want to build collaborations among all the higher education campuses in the state so we can learn from each other's experiences and share new technologies and best practices," Behling said.

In addition to the chancellor, UC Santa Cruz campus architect Frank Zwart and Harrison Fraker, dean of the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, will address the opening session.

Students have been involved in the effort from the start, and the list of topics reflects their concerns. In addition to such subjects as energy, transportation, and composting, there will also be sessions on ways of incorporating sustainability into college curricula and examples of successful student-led sustainability organizations.

The conference will be supplemented by extensive pre- and post-conference events, including field trips to Long Marine Lab and the UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden on June 19, and workshops on June 22.

A June 22 workshop is offered by the U.S. Green Building Council, which developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards now being applied to "green" building projects around the world. This workshop at the Stevenson Event Center--for building owners, facility managers, and design teams--will cover the technical requirements and process for achieving certification under the newly released standards for existing buildings.

The conference is sponsored in part by the University of California/California State University/Investor-Owned Utility Energy Efficiency Partnership under the auspices of the Public Utilities Commission.

A schedule of events, including demonstrations by exhibitors, is available online at www2.ucsc.edu/sustainabilityconf2005/schedule.htm

Detailed information on the conference is online at
www2.ucsc.edu/sustainabilityconf2005/

Related link:

"Designing the Future" (Newsweek article)

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