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Bren School Breaks Ground for New Building
University of California, Santa Barbara News
April 19, 2000

Construction of the $22 million Bren Hall began today with a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the new building.

When completed sometime in 2002, the four-story structure will be home to the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, UCSB’s professional school that educates advanced degree students in environmental science, management, and public policy.

The quality of the multi-campus graduate program, which will be housed in the new building, was enhanced and accelerated by a $15 million gift from the Donald Bren Foundation. Bren, chairman of the Irvine Company in Orange County, California, has a long-standing interest in the conservation of open space and habitats, leading the Irvine Company in preserving 30,000 acres in Orange County for habitat, wildlife, and open space.

"The delicate balance between humans and the environment is one of the most important issues facing all of us in the years ahead, and one that I have been personally and professionally committed to my entire life," said Bren. "I am very pleased that this school will not only be illuminating these issues through its research, but that it will be housed in one of the most environmentally sensitive buildings in the state."

Bren Hall itself will be environmentally state-of-the-art, employing energy efficient technology to create the "greenest building in the UC system," according to Jeff Dozier, dean of the school.

UCSB’s new building is designed to harvest natural light, heating and cooling. The carpets, wallboard, ceiling tiles, furniture, and insulation will be made from recycled materials. Wood paneling will come from certified sustainable forest harvests. Landscaping will shade and shelter the building, use drought-tolerant native plants, and use reclaimed water irrigation.

"This is a very exciting and memorable day in UCSB history," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "This is the day we celebrate the groundbreaking of a magnificent new building to house a school to fulfill our environmental dreams. This is also a day we celebrate the accomplishments of our pre-eminent Bren School."

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