Redford Conservancy

ILFI Recognizes Redford Conservancy with Zero Energy Certification

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The Redford Conservancy become the fourth higher education structure in the world to Earn Zero Net Energy Certification

The Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College has won the first higher education building certification in California for using Zero Net Energy. The certification from the International Living Future Institute is highly sought after and challenging to achieve.

The Redford’s Awards Shelf

  • The Redford Conservancy is only the fourth higher education structure in the world to achieve ILFI Zero Energy Certification.
  • It is the 15thZero Energy Certified project in California, including other types and structural uses. In addition to receiving ILFI Net Zero Energy certification, the Redford Conservancy has also achieved the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest rating available.
  • It also named the project of the year by the US Green Building Council.
  • Claremont Heritage Board of Directors selected Pitzer’s Redford Conservancy for its Bess Garner Preservation Award.

Pitzer President, Melvin L. Oliver said “Pitzer College is an extraordinary teaching and learning laboratory for our students, faculty and staff. The Redford Conservancy represents the vision, ambitions and social consciousness of our liberal arts and sciences community of scholars in such a positive way.” “The Conservancy’s achievement of Zero Net Energy certification affirms that vision, ambition and social consciousness”, he added.

The ILFI’s Mission is to lead the transformation toward a civilization that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.

The story behind achievements

  • The Redford Conservancy occupies the renovated historical infirmary building located adjacent to the Bernard Field Station, a site for ecological research and teaching just north of the Pitzer Collegemain campus.
  • It embodies sustainable best practices.
  • Working with design firm Carrier Johnson, Pitzer Collegedeveloped a shared use approach to the planning and design process, which included indigenous elders, field biologists, residential neighbors and the College community.
  • The site was also replanted with native vegetation from seeds gathered on site and is of cultural significance to area indigenous people.

A primary goal of the building renovation was to establish a model of regenerative design on a limited carbon footprint. Thanks to on-site solar arrays, the Redford Conservancy produces more energy than it consumes and sells the surplus back to Southern California Edison, the primary electricity supply company for much of Southern California.

Brinda Sarathy, Director, Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, stated, “Environmental justice and concerns about our impact on the world have to be at the heart of environmental issues. They are at the heart of everything we do here at the Redford Conservancy. For this facility to achieve Zero Net Energy certification and to be the first in higher education to do so is tremendously affirming for all of us who collaborated to get here.”



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