BLUE ‘N GOLD GOES PLATINUM
UCLA Luskin Conference Center earns highest accolade in sustainability world
The UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center was recently awarded the LEED Platinum Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. With this new certification, the 25,000-square-foot conference center and hotel, which officially opened its doors at UCLA in October 2016, becomes California’s second and the nation’s sixth LEED Platinum certified hotel. Sustainability; indoor environmental quality; innovation in design; and energy and atmosphere were listed among the conference center’s highest performing strengths.
LEED is the U.S. Green Building Council’s rating system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy efficient and high performing buildings, and Platinum certification is LEED’s highest distinction.
“I’m tremendously proud to work for an institution that prioritizes the importance of sustainability and to have endeavored on this project with donors and professionals that shared those values,” said Peter Angelis, UCLA’s associate vice chancellor of Housing and Hospitality Services, which oversees the Luskin Conference Center. “The design team did everything possible to incorporate sustainability in a meaningful way to ensure that this building and operation will leave the smallest environmental impact possible.”
“Additionally, LEED Platinum certification reflects Meyer and Renee Luskin’s commitment to preserving the environment and promoting the development of a more sustainable society,” Angelis said.
Among the environmentally sustainable features of the building are its large windows, which allow natural light to stream into the building; drought-tolerant landscaping that features a variety of native plants; the building’s structural steel frame that was made using more than 90 percent recycled material; wood paneling sourced from sustainably managed forests; and locally manufactured exterior brick, to name a few.
The commitment to the LEED-supported environmental goals can be found throughout the Conference Center. Sustainability commitments – such as its carbon neutrality and zero waste goals – have been established in both architecture and operations. For instance, guests are encouraged to contribute to these efforts by participating in the towel re-use program and by composting their waste. Additionally, operational features, such as the all-electric vehicle fleet, use of plant-based shower amenities and linen-less banquet set-ups reinforce the Center’s commitment to integrating sustainable practices at all levels of the operation.
“The Luskin Conference Center’s interest in shifting the paradigm and innovating new ways of conducting business sets us apart in the marketplace and demonstrates to the hospitality industry that sustainability fulfills the triple bottom line of benefitting people, planet and profit,” Angelis said.