UC Irvine Verano 8 Achieves LEED Platinum Certification

Date Posted: 06.27.2023

The completed Verano 8 Graduate Student Housing at University of California Irvine (UC Irvine) has achieved LEED v4 NC Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The project consists of five residential buildings containing 424 units and 1,055 beds, plus a community building, creating a vibrant new neighborhood that welcomes all. Highlights of the deep green design include:

  • Energy: The project received all 18 possible LEED points for energy performance with a modeled 58% energy cost reduction. All-electric systems are used for space heating, cooling and hot water, including solar thermal hot water and a 134-kW roof-mounted, grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system for clean energy production. Site energy use is estimated to be 23 EUI, and 19 net EUI with PV.
  • Water: The site design features water-efficient landscaping to reduce water for irrigation by 63%. Plumbing fixtures deliver a 44% domestic water savings reduction in the residential buildings.
  • Ecology: Plant species used in the design are native to the region and have low water needs or are drought tolerant.
  • Materials: Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), material ingredient Health Product Declarations (HPD) and low- or no-VOC emissions informed product selections along with material sourcing factors such as recycled content and FSC certified wood products.
  • Embodied Carbon: 326 kg CO2e/m2.
  • Health and Wellbeing: The project’s health-promoting design incorporates active stairs, biophilic design strategies, community gardens, and interspersed lounge spaces for planned and spontaneous gatherings. Verano 8 has also received a 2-star Fitwel v2.1 Community certification in support of the physical, mental, and social health of all occupants.

Sustainable design performance and fossil-free systems at Verano 8 support the University’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. These six newly certified buildings increase the total number of LEED Platinum buildings on the UC Irvine campus to 28.