UCSF Sustainability Stories

Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, December 2014

Mission Hall:  Going for Gold

DaylightingMission Bay’s Block 25A, also known as Mission Hall Global Health and Clinical Sciences Building, is a new 264,000 square foot building recently finished at the Mission Bay campus.  The unique design process resulted in a building that is expected to qualify for LEED Gold.  According to Gary Nelson, UCSF Project Manager, Mission Hall is a very energy efficient building.  UCSF used an innovative process that required the architect and the general contractor to partner and bid on the project together, resulting in cost savings and pushing the green building envelope.  Sustainability is truly embedded into the building’s design. The feasibility of adding solar panels is currently being assessed (it was not included in the original design due to budget constraints).

Green aspects include:

  • Larger north-facing windows provide for well-balanced daylight.  By placing larger windows on north side and smaller ones on the south side, the need for for sunshades and louvers was eliminated.
  • An under floor air distribution (UFAD) system known for high indoor air quality passively distributes air instead of using energy intensive motorized fans to move air. This, coupled with a high thermal mass structural frame which minimizes energy flux results in more than 30% energy savings.  Each work station has its own air vent, which can be controlled by the occupant, reducing wasted energy.  Other energy saving touches include light sensors that turn lights automatically off in unoccupied rooms and desks have energy-saving LED tasks lights.  Some areas also have daylighting controls which dim in bright daylight, but increase when sunlight is reduced.

  • Each work station has a very small trash can and a larger recycling bin, which are self-emptied at central locations to encourage recycling.  Recycling and compost bins are well labeled and located throughout the building near centrally located kitchen areas.

  • A flexible design incorporates workstations, open collaboration spaces called ‘huddles’, and private meeting spaces.  This “activity-based” design maximizes the use of space.