After the University of California Board of Regents approved the design plan last week, the construction of a new state of the art winery and Brewing and Food Science Laboratory is set to begin in June.
Both the winery and laboratory aim to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design‘s (LEED) highest rating, the platinum certification. Achieving platinum certification through the U.S. Green Building Council will make this facility the first of its kind in the world.
The 34,000 square foot project is being constructed to serve as a model for future facilities, said Melissa Haworth, director of development for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
“The new facility will showcase environmental and sustainable technologies that others can evaluate and put into practice in their own operations,“ said James Seiber, chair of the department of food science and technology.
Currently the old winery and brewery are located in Wickson and Cruess Halls. Until the new winery and laboratory open, students have to make their way between the new facilities and the old winery, she said.
The winery and laboratory are being constructed entirely from private funds. More than 150 individuals, alumni, corporate associates and foundations contributed more than $16.5 million to the project. Private partners in the wine industry have also provided funding to help attain the LEED platinum certification.
These private funds are gifts meant to give back to the community, said Kathy Sachs Barrientes, also a director of development for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
The winery will be the first wine-production facility in the world that is fully operated by solar power at peak load, equipped with technology to help capture all carbon dioxide from its fermentations. It will function on captured and recycled rainwater for cleaning purposes, which will be cycled through five times before being disposed.
The winery will be used for industry short courses, research and teaching purposes.
The Brewing and Food Science Laboratory will contain a food processing plant, a dairy processing plant and a pilot brewery. The laboratory is named after August A. Busch III for his contributions to the art of brewing as well as a $5 million donation to this project. The naming rights to the winery are still available.
“This wonderful new resource confirms that brewing education at UC Davis is second to none,“ said Charles Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch endowed professor of malting and brewing sciences at UC Davis in a press release.
The LEED Green Building Rating System for New Construction, first published in 1999, has helped many to improve the quality of buildings and their impact on the environment.
According to the latest version of the LEED requirements, “In the United States, buildings use one-third of our total energy, two-thirds of our electricity, one-eighth of our water and transform land that provides valuable ecological resources.“
LEED certifications include some benefits that will help future building become more “eco-friendly“ such as lowering operating costs and increasing asset value, reducing waste sent to landfills, conserving energy and water, increasing health and safety for occupants and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
The project is set to be completed in 2010.
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