The University of California, Irvine (UCI) Verano Graduate Student Housing project was a multi-faceted endeavor. The project scope included the demolition of a 105-unit apartment complex as well as the construction of four new two-story graduate housing buildings and a state-of-the-art childcare center. This design-build, LEED Platinum Certified project features 400 beds spread throughout 200 new apartments, 300 parking spaces, a childcare facility, a community laundry facility, landscaped outdoor common areas and essential site utilities. Verano Place Apartments is one of three Graduate and Family Housing communities on campus. It houses graduate, law, and medical students, as well as a limited number of undergraduates over the age of 25 or with families.

The commitment to sustainability was evident throughout this project's lifecycle. Initially targeting LEED Gold certification, the UCI Verano Graduate Student Housing Project surpassed expectations and achieved the prestigious LEED Platinum certification for each of its five buildings. The project received all 18 possible LEED points for energy performance with a modeled 58% energy cost reduction.  All-electric systems are utilized for space heating, cooling and hot water. This includes solar thermal hot water and a 134-kW roof-mounted, grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) system for clean energy generation.

The PCL team also installed a filtration system to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff and diverted 89% of construction and demolition waste from landfills. The team installed “cool roofs” that mitigate warming effects on the building’s surroundings, as well as MEP systems that reduce water usage by more than 45% within the building.

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

This project not only exemplifies excellence in construction but also embodies a commitment to environmental stewardship and efficient design practices.

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