The University of California, Irvine, (UCI) was ranked #1 “Cool School” by Sierra Magazine in 2014. Although, UCI has made significant reductions in potential Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from new building space, reduction in existing
buildings is still a major constraint. Investigating innovative ways to retrofit
existing buildings is crucial to help attain the long-term goals of carbon neutrality for UCI campus. The concept of “Cool roofs”
is a potential climate solution that UCI could explore and demonstrate the scaling up potential of “cool” design towards climate neutrality.
The primary purpose of this project is to perform a feasibility study of cool roofs for the existing buildings on UCI campus in order to develop a proposal for a phase-wise implementation plan of cool roofs for the Office of Sustainability. The core of this research is to utilize the campus as a living laboratory for reducing GHG emissions by retrofitting the existing building envelope.
The project aims to: 1) develop a robust and complete inventory for roofs and related infrastructure of existing buildings on UCI campus. 2) Develop an in depth cost benefit analysis on “cool roofs” that are suitable for UCI. 3) Organize a larger community meeting that will provide an opportunity for the campus community to learn about “cool roofs” and understand the importance of studying the campus’ historic/existing buildings and solutions towards climate neutrality for the entire building envelope. In this meeting, the community will participate in performing a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of the current proposal in order to identify barriers if any and reveal the possibilities and limitations for change. 4) Incorporate feedback in the development of phase-wise implementation plan and; 5) Create awareness of the retrofitting potential of the building envelope at UCI through a public workshop.