UC Irvine Middle Earth Towers is LEED Platinum Certified

Date Posted: 05.08.2020

The new Middle Earth Towers at University of California, Irvine has achieved LEED NC Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). From century-old passive techniques like natural cross ventilation to state-of-the-art technologies such as photovoltaics, every design decision contributes in multiple ways to deliver carbon reduction and the deepest green integration.

  • Energy: The project received all 19 possible points for energy performance. Highlights include a 50 kW roof-mounted, grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system for clean energy production and natural ventilation on all residential levels (75% of the building area). Operable window area is approximately 40% above natural ventilation requirements.
  • Water: The site design features water-efficient landscaping and uses non-potable water for irrigation. Plumbing fixtures deliver a 40% domestic water savings.
  • Ecology: 96% of the site hardscape combines shading and high reflectance to minimize heat-island effect. Visible green stormwater design incorporates two cascading bio-filtration terraced zones on the landform, parallel to the site stairs, that reduces pressure on-campus systems. Green roofs are located on all lower roofs to reinforce the meadow concept and reduce heat-island effect.
  • Materials: The design maximizes the use of FSC sources for more than 50% of all the wood used in the project.

Sustainable design performance at Middle Earth Towers supports the University’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. In addition, the building engages students, faculty and visitors to contribute to energy reduction, carbon neutrality and zero-waste performance goals as part of their daily lives.