California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA




Downtown S.F.’s office buildings are guzzling tons of energy no one is using

Building experts say it’s no surprise that empty offices are burning so much energy. Electrical infrastructure like elevators consumes energy even when not in use, as do the pumps that maintain water pressure for faucets and toilets, said Eric Fournier, research director at UCLA’s California Center for Sustainable Communities. Turning these off would make it hard for buildings to “maintain a posture of openness.” A building is “kind of a living thing,” he said. “You can’t just cut the cord on it and expect it to carry on in good health for a long period of time.” Air conditioning systems are also kept on in empty buildings to avoid structural problems, mold and water-borne illnesses. The design of these large offices, many of which were built over a century ago, typically assumes a certain range of temperatures, Fournier explained. “If you deviate from that for a prolonged period, weird things happen that could be very expensive to fix.”


Book Review in Buildings & Cities

Authored by the team at CCSC about the UCLA Energy Atlas. "This book covers a remarkable breadth of topics across a compact seven chapters. The breadth is necessitated by the subject matter and authors’ ambition to construct an 'energy atlas' for the state of California from the most granular data available. The content covered will be of interest to a wide readership, particularly policymakers and researchers in the energy, built environment and policy domains. It is accessible enough to be read by non-specialists and would be of interest to anyone working or interested in the built environment or planning and the role of individuals and individual buildings in the wider transition to net zero."


Los Angeles Regional Collaborative: Heat Education, Ambassadors, and Training (LARC-HEAT) Receives State Funding

This project aims to combat extreme heat through a comprehensive Heat Ambassador initiative, focusing on educating and protecting heat-vulnerable communities. Greater Los Angeles – $2,999,999 Lead: University of California, Los Angeles/Los Angeles Regional Collaborative Partners: Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, Rising Communities, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health


The LADWP To Expand Free Electric Vehicle Charging Stations In Underserved Communities

Researchers analyzed an archive of energy consumption data and hosted listening sessions to come up with “LA100 Equity Strategies.” The study is a detailed analysis of L.A.’s clean energy investment inequities. It also outlines more than 50 ways officials can address those inequities, including housing, local solar, and truck electrification. Stephanie Pincetl was one of those researchers. She’s a professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and founding director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities. Pincetl told LAist the city needs to really communicate the benefits of going 100% renewable with the residents and ratepayers of Los Angeles. That’s not an easy message to get across, she added, and the LADWP can’t do it alone.