Bren Hall
Environmentally sensitive landscape management at UC Santa Barbara's Bren Hall

UC Campuses are employing a variety of strategies to conserve and safeguard California’s limited resources.  Technologies like waterless urinals and low-flow fixtures aid in reducing water consumption, as well as obtaining LEED certification.

Landscape management best practices, like irrigation with reclaimed water, use of pervious paving materials, and drought-tolerant native plants also help the University save water and protect local watersheds.  Through environmentally sensitive landscape management, UC is improving water and soil quality, conserving water, and promoting biological diversity.

Water conservation is extremely important and UC campuses are beginning to rethink the way they use water through increased water efficiency, continued and expanded use of reclaimed water, use of xerophytic and native landscaping, and implementing onsite re-use and recycling practices.


UC Merced has designed its entire site landscaping within the current 100 acre Phase Development to use 50% less water than projected baseline calculations, which was done through a combination of:

  • the utilization of California native and other drought tolerant plant materials and limited use of turf;
  • the use of a sophisticated automated irrigation system that includes centralized control and PC monitoring, field moisture sensors, drip irrigation, and deep root watering tubes for trees; and
  • constructing the entire irrigation system to utilize reclaimed water sources in the near future.


At UC Santa Barbara, water conservation best practices were incorporated into Bren Hall.

Approximately 45,000 gallons of water per year are saved from toilets using reclaimed water, waterless urinals and low flow fixtures.

The landscaping shades and shelters the building, uses drought-tolerant native plants, and uses reclaimed water for irrigation.

The fire road around the structure is made of permeable turf-block with a grass overlay, and the bike parking area is made from permeable interlocking pavers.

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