The UCI Conference Center is committed to integrating sustainability into its daily operations, programs and services.
The Student Center Building Expansion
Co-Mingled Recycling Program
We partner with Facilities Management to expand its Co-Mingled recycling program to all tenant offices, and a few public areas within the UCI Student Center. The service will provide collection stations to enable students and staff to recycle paper, glass, CRV containers, plastic, scrap metal, and styrofoam & other packaging materials.
Energy Efficiency Projects
In June 2010, five roof top Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units were replaced on the Cross Cultural Center with a new, energy-efficient model. In addition, the roof membrane was replaced with an ENERGY START product. Together, these two projects save approximately 1,000 kWh of electricity and 10 therms of natural gas annually.
In June 2010, the Student Center turned off hot water to restroom areas, eliminating the need to heat water for 83 sinks. Annually, this initiative is expected to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions by 123 metric tons of CO2e (equivalent to removing 21 passenger vehicles from the road) and utility costs by $18,700.
Student Center Receives 2015 Best Practice Award for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
Student Center & Event Services is honored by the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference with the 11th annual Best Practice Award for lighting design. Starting October 2014, the Student Center Conference Center underwent a facility-wide lighting upgrade that increased lighting throughout the building while decreasing energy loads and greenhouse gases.
The Best Practice Awards highlight successful and cost-effective projects on UC, CSU and CCC campuses that implement green building technologies, sustainable design strategies, and energy-efficient operations.
Starting November 2010, Student Center & Event Services is replacing standard cleaners that contain hazardous chemicals with electrolyzed water as part of a pilot project. The production of electrolyzed water involves a process to convert the elements of salt (sodium and chloride) into the ingredients in alkaline and acidic electrolyzed water through the process of electrolysis. The electrolyzed water process will produce an acidic solution containing hypochlorous acid and an alkaline solution containing sodium hydroxide. As a sanitizing/disinfecting solution, hypochlorous acid is 10 times more effective than bleach in reducing the levels of bacteria and viruses commonly found on surfaces. As a cleaning agent, sodium hydroxide is a principle ingredient used in many soaps and cleaners and is highly effective in removing dirt, oils and greases. This technology goes a long way toward creating a green environment.
In October 2010, Student Center & Event Services discontinued the use of traditional pesticides within the Student Center and Cross Cultural Center buildings. EcoSmart aerosols (an all-natural product made with essential oils from plants and trees, water and carbon dioxide), natural diatomaceous earth (an all-natural product made from tiny fossilized water plants), and physical barricade techniques replaced the use of traditional pest control products.
In fiscal year 2009-10, Student Center & Event Services reduced the use of non-green cleaning chemicals by 29%, while decreasing the annual expense of these products by 18%.
Recycling bins are placed in strategic locations around the Student Center to encourage bottle, glass, newspapers, and paper recycling. These bins are emptied by Facilities Management and counted towards the campus’ waste diversion rate.
Biodegradable containers are used for most to-go items and biodegradable plates are used in most retail dining locations within the Student Center. A comprehensive local and organic food program has been introduced in the two Aramark managed locations within the Student Center: the East Food Court and the Zot-n-Go convenience store.