Cutting Edge Technology
From the very start, sustainable principles have been the foundation of UC Davis West Village’s design and construction. Energy experts at UC Davis have been key advisors.
The best cutting-edge technology and practices are being identified to make UC Davis West Village buildings use as little energy as possible. Key contributions included:
- Establishing the feasibility of a goal to exceed existing California building energy standards by 50 percent.
- Developed a strategic plan for exterior lighting, with an emphasis on leading-edge, energy-efficient fixtures and controls. The fixtures will light pathways, building walls, facades, parking areas and streets. They will operate at a lower level when not needed, reducing light pollution and energy use. Overall, lighting throughout UC Davis West Village will use approximately 60 percent less energy than standard lighting.
- The UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center also advised the project’s Pasadena architecture firm, Lim Chang Rohling & Associates, on control strategies for building interiors. In partnership with the Davis Energy Group, the center’s faculty advised on energy-saving options such as occupancy sensors, daylighting techniques and dimming controls that exceed California building standards and further reduce the project’s energy footprint.
- Identifying energy-conserving building components such as heat-reflecting roof materials; heat-blocking roof sheathing, roof overhangs and exterior window sunshades; added insulation in exterior walls; and high-efficiency light fixtures, air conditioning systems and appliances.
- Encouraging the use of monitoring tools that give UC Davis West Village residents unprecedented control of their energy use. These include programmable controls for lights, appliances and electrical outlets, as well as online, real-time reports on their power use.
- Further innovations are on the horizon. Ruihong Zhang, a professor of biological and agricultural engineering at UC Davis, is advising on development of a biodigester capable of creating energy out of table scraps from campus dorms, manure from the campus dairy, agricultural waste from the campus’s agricultural research fields, or other campus waste. The biodigester, now in feasibility testing, is based on technology developed in Zhang’s laboratory through her Biogas Energy Project.
The teams that advised on the development of UC Davis West Village include the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center, UC Davis Water Efficiency Center, and UC Davis Energy Institute, in addition to the UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center, UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies and UC Davis Biogas Energy Project.
From industry, advisers included SunPower, PG&E and Chevron Energy Solutions, Energy & Environmental Engineering, in addition to the Davis Energy Group.