Experiential Learning through a Walking Tour

Did you know that you can do a free Sustainability Walking Tour right here on the UC Berkeley campus?

UC Berkeley is a leader in sustainability and is a responsible steward of the campus environment. Through our actions such as the strategic energy program, promotion of walking and biking, restoration of natural resources, and green buildings, Berkeley’s passionate faculty, staff, and students have created many sites on campus that demonstrate our commitment to sustainability.

Now instead of just reading about these sites, you can go experience them directly!

Places to See on the Tour

1. Bicycle Parking at Wurster Hall

Over 5,500 people commute daily to Berkeley by bicycle and the campus continues to install bicycle parking to meet the demand. These sites are examples of larger bicycle parking facilities located throuhgout campus and include pervious surfaces to reduce storm-water run-off. 

2. ReUSE Station at North Barrows Hall

 A student initiative, the Re-Used Stuff Emporium, collects reusable, unwanted supplies and redistributes them at no cost through stations in 18 campus buildings. Stations promote reuse and divert reusable materials from landfills. This station is a repurposed public phone booth in Barrows Hall.

3. Water Refill Station/s

Berkeley is now home to refill stations in more than 20 buildings on campus, including barrows hall. Water stations encourage the community to switch to reusable bottles and public water, forgoing the disposable variety and supporting the zero waste goal.

5. Eshleman Hall and the Martin Luther King Jr Student Union

Lower Sproul achieves LEED Gold for both Eshleman Hall (new construction) and the MLK, Jr. Student Union (commercial interiors). Some of the sustainable features include incorporating a natural ventilation system, solar PV, water efficient landscaping, a stormwater collection system including a cistern and rain garden, over 100 bike racks, a student-run bike repair center, a new transit center, low flush toilets fed by rainwater, recycling and compost centers, and smart systems for HVAC, windows and lighting.

6. Strawberry Creek

Berkeley has an educational program to restore Strawberry Creek and it’s native species: over 3,000 students use the creek as an outdoor lab annually, and the design of surrounding buildings incorporates features to protect the creek’s health and quality. Most recently, Students, staff and contractors designed and installed ecologically-functional grade control structures for a degraded section of Strawberry Creek and planted the banks with native vegetation.

7. Grinnell Glade Irrigation

The Glade is designed to decrease storm water runoff and conserves water through irrigation. Nearby, the Dwinelle Parking lot was re-designed to use permeable pavement and vegetated catchment areas to mitigate the runoff to Strawberry Creek.

8. La Ka Shing Center

Our  LEED™ Gold Lab building provides green roofs, reclaimed-wood paneling, low-emitting office carpeting and rubber lab floors. It also features user-controlled shutters, real-time monitoring of energy and water use, and occupancy sensors for lighting.

9. Pat Brown's Grill, Genetics and Plant Biology Building

Pat Brown’s Grill is unique in that it is the first campus restaurant to be LEED™ certified. The renovation of Pat Brown’s includes a daylight responsive lighting system, Energy Star-certified kitchen equipment, a reduction in dishwater usage, and a green janitorial program. The brown's kitchen uses scratch-cooking techniques to produce delicious vegetable-forward menu items as well as "better meat" options such as grassfed burgers and rotisserie organic chicken.

10. Jacobs Hall

The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley has been named one of the nation’s top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and ecological design projects that protect and enhance the environment by the American Institute of Architects. Additionally, it was awarded the highest honor of LEED™ platinum. The rooftop solar arrays will produce about 120,000 kWh of clean power each year for the building.

Also, off campus: 

Maximino Martinez Commons

The Maximino Martinez Commons residence hall was conceived as an energy saving building that included the use of daylight for lighting, natural ventilation, a nighttime cooling strategy, a hydronic and radiant heating system, and plumbing and water systems designed to reduce water use by 30%. To achieve it’s LEED™ Gold rating, the design also incorporates water-saving native plants, reuses materials salvaged from the site, and creates a vegetated swale that captures and filters storm water runoff from the site. 

Underhill Artificial Turf

The Underhill Field has a state of the art synthetic turf made from recycled truck and car tires called Sprinturf that takes less water than a standard lawn. The drain mat under the field, called DBS (Dynamic Base System), is made from recycled rubber.

Brochure written and designed by Kendra Wrightson. Photos courtesy of Kira Stoll, Rachel Balmy and Nik Crain. Updates made by Amy Craik. 

Copyright © 2017 UC Berkeley Office of Sustainability

You can also take a tour of TGIF projects!

Download the Green Walking Tour!

You can DOWNLOAD A COPY of the SUSTAINABILITY WALKING TOUR.  You are welome to print this campus guide for your walkabout. However, if you can view the tour on your iPad or laptop, please consider augmenting your reality digitally to save trees. 

graphic of sustainability walking tour