Shields Library

Shields Library is LEED Gold Certified

Quick Summary

  • We are proud to announce Shields Library is officially certified as a LEED Green Building! As of May 2021, Shields earned the LEED Gold Certification in the Existing Buildings: Operations & Management category with 73 out of 110 total points.

A green building operates in a way that reduces its environmental impact. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for different building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, energy-efficient, and sustainable buildings. When pursuing green building certifications, we look at building features and operational impacts such as:

  • Energy conservation
  • Indoor & outdoor water efficiency 
  • Waste reduction
  • Indoor air quality
  • Sustainable purchasing

Sustainability Improvements

Shields was a perfect candidate for certification because of its plentiful opportunities to reduce energy waste.  Twenty-seven lamps in the Shields Main Reading Room were replaced with LED's to save almost 17,000 Watts. Daylight sensors were installed in several areas throughout the library near windows. These sensors dim indoor lights when the daylight from the outdoors provides space with adequate light, saving electricity. This also reduces glare to increase occupant comfort. The team scheduled the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems according to the open hours of the Library, academic holidays, and intersession periods to reduce ventilation when the building is unoccupied. Reduced ventilation rates avoid overcooling library spaces and save energy. This and other energy savings projects in Shields Library saved over $23,000 and reduced total energy consumption by 8% in the 2018-19 fiscal year. 

Energy engineer, Hiroko Masuda, shows Green Building interns one of the mechanical rooms in Shields Library.
An energy engineer shows Green Building interns the mechanical systems.
UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading Sustainable Horticulture program and staff.
UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading
Sustainable Horticulture program and staff.

To improve outdoor water efficiency, the landscaping around the perimeter of Shields Library was designed and planted by the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden’s Learning by Leading Sustainable Horticulture program and staff. They also removed little-used lawns to create some of these low-water landscapes. Plants in this garden need less water because they are well-adapted to the hot and dry Davis climate. These plants create habitat for native wildlife & insects and provide food for pollinators. They don't need fertilizing, thereby improving stormwater quality, and don't need mowing, reducing carbon emissions.

The Student Team

UC Davis students collaborate to certify existing buildings on campus. A team of five students ranging from civil engineers, environmental policy, and environmental science and management majors made up the Green Buildings Team in this certification. They collected and analyzed data, evaluated LEED requirements, and performed building walkthroughs to certify Shields Library. It can be up to a year-long project and it's a great opportunity for students to exercise their project management, communication, and data analysis skills.

"My highlight since joining the Green Buildings Team has been learning new ways about how our campus has become sustainable and seeing the impact it brings to our community and environment."

- Alex Rivas, Civil & Environmental Engineering Student

The student team that certified Shields Library.