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The WELL wins award for sustainability


The WELL’s design makes efficient use of skylights to reduce artificial lighting during the day.
September marks The WELL’s first birthday, and Sacramento State’s health and fitness center has received a fitting gift for the occasion. Sacramento’s Business Environmental Resource Center (BERC) has recognized The WELL with one of its 2011 Sacramento Sustainable Business of the Year Awards.

The WELL, which houses the University’s health center, basketball courts, fitness centers, rock-climb wall and Peak Adventures, was one of 14 businesses to earn the award this year, and BERC noted how its design and construction minimize light pollution, save water, use energy-efficient lamps, and feature occupancy sensors and a state-of-the-art sky lighting system.

The design and operation are estimated to save the 151,000-square-foot facility about $35,000 a year on electricity and $2,800 on natural gas, says Facilities Services Energy Conservation Coordinator Nathaniel C. Martin.

University representatives took part in two presentations acknowledging the award. The first was Tuesday, Sept. 13, at a Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting that included a proclamation of Pollution Prevention Week. The official awards ceremony took place Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria on I Street.

“The WELL’s sustainability success was a collaborative effort between the user group, the construction company and the architects,” says WELL Director Mirjana Gavric. “We were dedicated to giving our students a building that is sustainable.”

This isn’t the first recognition bestowed on The WELL for its environmental achievements. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) presented a $75,572 check to the center in April for its energy-saving design and operation. The WELL also received Gold certification from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

The WELL now joins American River Courtyard, the University’s suite-style residence hall, in winning the triple crown of environmental efficiency. The ARC won the Sustainable Business award last year, is certified LEED Gold and received $74,331 from SMUD in May 2010.

The WELL was designed by lead architect Hornberger + Worstell and associate architect Ellerbe Becket Inc. Construction manager at risk and general contractor was McCarthy Building Cos., and Tony Moayed Construction Services Inc. was the construction manager and inspector of record.

For more information on the WELL, visit For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Craig Koscho