Tahoe Environmental Research Center
Thomas J. Long Foundation Education Center

Aerial photo of TCES building showing solar roof tiles

(Open Energy Solar Tiles)


Viewing the Lake Tahoe Watershed Map

Volunteer docent shows green building materials

used in the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences

Green Building Tours of the
Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences

Green Building Tours

The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences is an environmentally-friendly or “green” building. On our “Green Tour,” you can learn about sustainable design, construction and landscaping and see examples of the efficient use of resources within this state-of-the art facility. Green Points of Interest located throughout the building highlight sustainable, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality features. For example, the TCES buildings walls are insulated with recycled cotton denim jeans, the trees used to help build the building were milled on site and used for finish work, and the outdoor enclosures of the building are built of Trex (recycled plastic and wood).

See also Green Points of Interest and Green Building Systems.

The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences Achieves Platinum LEED Rating

Sierra Nevada College and UC Davis recently announced that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for the Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences building. The building is the first building in Nevada to earn this recognition, one of only five laboratories and one of only 26 facilities in the world that have earned the highest tier of recognition possible for energy and environmental design excellence under the LEED program for New Construction (LEED-NC).

In order to achieve this recognition, the project design needed to achieve over 52 credits in 6 areas that include Sustainable Sites, Energy & Atmosphere, Water Efficiency, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation & Design Process.

Located in Incline Village, Nevada, the Tahoe Center is a 45,000 square foot facility that houses Sierra Nevada College’s science program (teaching laboratories and classrooms); UC Davis research laboratories (Tahoe Environmental Research Center) and public education center; and office space for the Desert Research Institute and University of Nevada, Reno’s Academy for the Environment.  All of these functions are focused on understanding and preserving the unique ecology of the Lake Tahoe watershed.  Achieving Platinum certification not only shows congruence with that focus but proves that sustainable, energy efficient design is possible even for complex, critical use buildings such as laboratories.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the national benchmark for high performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health:

For more info: US Green Building Council, www.usgbc.org

For tour information:

Please contact Heather Segale, education and outreach coordinator, at hmsegale@ucdavis.edu or 775-881-7562.