UCSB’s Recreation Center, which serves a vast majority of the school’s students on a regular basis, does so by largely sustainable means. Sustainable functions of the Recreation Center include:
- Photovoltaic Array
+ Informally known as solar paneling, the 115 kW PV array covers the roof of the Multi-Activity Center and supports 80% of that building’s energy. It is the largest photovoltaic array on UCSB’s campus, generating 686,000 kWh of electricity annually.
- Varied Frequency Drive Pumps
+ These circulate water in the Rec Cen pools according to the time of day, based on the given number of people in the pool for that time, rather than simply pumping full-blast at all hours of the day.
Much of the Rec Cen’s sustainability, however, results from simple practices and unseen functions. For instance, covers are kept on the pools overnight to keep temperatures from dropping too low in order to save energy on heating during the day, and washable cloth towels have replaced paper towels in weight rooms. Low-flow urinals and dual-flush toilets keep restrooms from using an excess of water, and the recently turfed Robertson Field demands virtually zero upkeep except its lighting at night. The majority of the facilities’ lighting uses LEDs (light-emitting diodes), and employee workstations feature motion-sensor lighting to avoid the waste of energy that results from lights left on after hours. In addition, the Rec Cen equips all of its employees with thermos-style water containers for hot and cold drinks to limit the use of disposable cups in the workplace. The Rec Cen not only contributes to the sustainable practices of UCSB's campus, but also helps spread sustainable practices to the people that it serves.