UC Irvine Mesa Court Towers Wins Sustainability Award

Date Posted: 07.26.2017

The University of California, Irvine Mesa Court Towers was recently recognized with a 2017 Best Practices Award for Overall Sustainable Design. The Best Practices Awards highlight exemplary projects that implement sustainable strategies, innovations and operations on California college and university campuses. Case studies are documented and hosted on the website of the Green Building Research Center at University of California, Berkeley to enable the transfer of ideas and resources across campuses in support of energy and sustainability goals.

The Mesa Court Towers Best Practices Case Study showcases key features and performance metrics, as well as how the building’s energy efficiency measures and student life programs align to support campus sustainability goals. The Best Practices Award jury highlights, “Many green building features are exposed to view, and sustainable programs are elucidated to students and staff, advancing campus and UCI Housing commitments to sustainability.”

The Mesa Court Towers dining center, Anteatery, offers healthy menus and culinary classes, sourcing more than 25% of all food and beverages from within 250 miles of campus or from sources that meet sustainability criteria certified by third-party organizations. In addition, the study reveals that “the dining hall also has several programs in place to support a goal of zero waste. Food waste is treated using an anaerobic digestion program that is operated in collaboration with campus facility management, the dining commons vendor, and local water and sanitation districts. Unserved food is distributed to people in need in the community, through a campus partnership with a local church program.

“Soon after opening, Mesa Court staff hosted a sustainability initiative for residence hall employees, demonstrating event greening, energy and water conservation, container gardening and zero waste. The program led to an impressive increase in recycling of 33 percent. In the dining hall, educational programs such as ‘Weigh the Waste’ increase awareness of food waste.”

About the Best Practices Awards
The University of California Office of the President (UCOP) and the California State University Office of the Chancellor (CSUOC) provide leadership and support for projects that incorporate energy efficiency and sustainable practices across all University of California and California State University campuses. The California Community Colleges have also participated in the program during the past few years. An important part of this effort is showcasing successful sustainability approaches in the Best Practices Awards Competition, held annually since 2005.