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 new larger bicycle parking facilities that 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.

3. Water Refill Station/s

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

4. Sproul Plaza Pavers

As part of a safety improvement project in Sproul Plaza, impervious concrete was replaced by semipermeable, easy-to-repair pavers that reduce storm water runoff and decrease pollutants entering Strawberry Creek.

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

From green building design to innovative stormwater management practices, the Lower Sproul redevelopment project worked to minimize its environmental impact across a variety of spectra. Eshleman Hall features: natural cooling through automatic window movement, window coating to lessen glare and heat build up, and a graywater system for irrigation and restroom facilities. MLK Jr. Student Union features: solar energy provided by photovoltaics, a white roof to reduce heat island effect, and a rain garden to capture storm runoff. Together these two systems will produce 150,000 kWh solar electricity for the buildings. Eshleman Hall is expected to receive LEED Gold and MLK Jr. Student union is expected to receive LEED Silver.

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.

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. Some of the building features include: natural ventilation, high performance envelope, potable water reduction, energy piggybacking, and bio-swale/rain garden.

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. The Halls also offer a volunteer-based Residential Sustainability Program, where students educate their peers on living sustainably through positive practices.

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 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