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Thank you to Franklin! LEED commuter survey a huge success

UCOP’s Franklin building employees turned out in big numbers last Friday, responding to the LEED commuter survey at a rate of 82 percent. The strong showing, combined with other green operations and maintenance practices, nearly assures that the Franklin building will qualify when it applies for LEED Gold.

The survey is a significant part of UCOP’s effort to renew the building’s LEED certification for operations and maintenance practices and upgrade from silver to gold. With the high participation rate and the large number of employees who take public transit, the building will get a minimum of 12 out of 15 possible points toward the “alternative commuting transportation” portion of the LEED application.

“The response was overwhelmingly positive, and even people who didn’t come into the office on Friday were still motivated to take the survey,” said Chief Building Manager Roman Starno, who is spearheading the LEED certification renewal. “We won’t know for sure until we complete the application and hear back from LEED, but based on these results, we should be able to earn LEED Gold.”

The commuting survey is only one part of the LEED application; it also requires documenting low energy use, waste reduction, a green cleaning program, environmental purchasing strategies and other sustainable practices.

With a total of 844 occupants in the Franklin building, 693 took the survey, including nearly 100 who were on leave, telecommuting or otherwise offsite the day of the survey. About 150 non-Franklin occupants also took the survey.

Here is the breakdown from the results of how Franklin occupants got to and from work last week:

  • bus/BART/ferry: 42%
  • drive alone: 33%
  • carpool: 8%
  • self-powered (e.g., walk, bike): 5%
  • other (e.g., telecommute, on leave, worked offsite): 12%

The day was full of fanfare, including musical performances by Ishtory, free eats and members of the sustainability team gently urging everyone to take the survey, which was open for only one day. Respondents were eligible for a random drawing for thank-you prizes, which went to:

  • iPad mini: Jeannie Malanowski, principal business analyst in the Office of Strategic Change Resources
  • One month of fresh, organic produce from Full Belly Farm: Shaudreya Waterman, program assistant in Risk Services
  • Gift certificate to Bittersweet Chocolate Café: Patricia Osorio-O’Dea, deputy to the vice provost in Academic Planning, Programs & Coordination

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a voluntary green building rating system, administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which rates buildings on their sustainable operational and maintenance practices, including reduced energy and water use and the indoor environment they create and maintain for their occupants.

Starno is completing the LEED application for submission in the coming months and should get results from USGBC by the end of the calendar year.

Comments ( 2 )

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  1. Mark Cianca May 21, 2013 Reply

    Given the number of UCOP staff who work in facilities other than the Franklin building, it would be of value/interest to see additional numbers from the survey. I believe all UCOP staff were invited to participate, regardless of the location of their Oakland offices. How do the numbers compare between Franklin, OSF, and Kaiser?

  2. Ryan Chan July 9, 2013 Reply

    Great job to the sustainability team for promoting and educating everyone about the survey. I enjoyed the chance to meet the team and learn about what they do.

    If the UCOP space initiative proceeds as planned and the Franklin building occupancy increases, parking space will be at a premium. I wonder if we can reduce the 33% “drive alone” by providing the bicycle commuting benefit, creating incentives for those who use alternative transportation or carpool, and promoting telecommuting and flexible schedules. UCOP can also survey the use of personal vehicles for work-day trips (to UCSF Regents Meetings, UCB, Kaiser to Franklin, etc.), and see if carsharing solutions such as Zipcar and City CarShare could help.

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