“The College of the Desert’s vision for a self-sustaining campus is to produce more energy than it consumes,” said James Matson, AIA, vice president and director of HGA’s Los Angeles office. “The plan emphasizes energy production along with substantial conservation and energy efficiency, waste recovery and biomimicry in partnership with green industries and educational initiatives. The campus will consider the site’s unique ecology and natural resources to create a national model for sustainable research and teaching that supports the local economy and educational needs in the Coachella Valley.”
The project will include 50,000 square-feet of academic space occupying several buildings clustered around a shaded courtyard. When complete in January 2015, this phase will include basic skills labs, culinary arts and a Desert Energy Enterprise Center (DEEC) that engages students in the engineering of solar panels and wind turbines. Currently at DSA for approval, the construction of the site work will begin in July, 2013.
“The overall design vision for this project is focused on making it a national model for innovate sustainable strategies,”
HGA is directing the master planning, programming, design and sustainability of the campus, which will become a national model for innovative sustainable strategies.
Located at the northwest corner of Indian Canyon Drive and Tramview Road, approximately ½-hour drive from the Palm Desert Campus, the new community college campus will serve as gateway to the City of Palm Springs. The 119-acre campus includes a 59-acre tabular rasa academic campus designed by HGA; and a planned adjacent 60-acre “GreenPark”
HGA’s master plan identifies building orientation, campus circulation and growth over seven phases. The U-shaped academic campus wraps around the existing James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center, integrating community activity into the campus. The master plan aligns with the college’s four educational “pillars” to promote business partnerships—
“The Research & Development facilities and Business Incubator programs will help generate revenue streams and offer real-world applications of state-of-the-
The architecture reflects Palm Springs’ midcentury-modern style while integrating ecological opportunities of the desert landscape through biomimicry, which incorporates sustainable processes from nature into the campus plan and architectural systems. The master plan addresses sun, shade, wind and biomimicry along an Arroyo, or dry riverbed, that winds through campus as the main organizing element. HGA is researching and testing integrated systems to improve building performance, including façades that minimize heat gain, energy-efficient mechanical systems, photovoltaic solar panels, storm-water reservoirs for evaporative cooling, shading and day lighting techniques, wind protection and desert landscaping with seasonal plantings.
“This project has forward-thinking goals that go beyond Net Zero Energy to embrace a Zero-Plus plan that creates renewable clean energy rather than simply uses less energy,” said Patrick Thibaudeau, LEED AP, vice president of sustainable design at HGA. “The Zero-Plus plan targets five integrated sustainable goals—Zero-
The City of Palm Springs obtained the 119-acre site from the Bureau of Land Management in fall 2010. The city then transferred the land to Desert Community College District for the new West Valley Campus to serve Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs in western Coachella Valley. The College of the Desert enrolls approximately 12,000 students.
The master plan and phase one is funded through Measure B Bond, which allocates money toward the establishment of satellite campuses in the east and west Coachella Valley.
The project team includes HGA Architects and Engineers, architect and MEP of record, lead project designer, sustainable design lead, master planner and programmer; o2 Architecture, local architect; RGA Landscape Architects, landscape architect; Saiful/Bouquet, structural engineer; M-E Engineers, local MEP engineer; MSA Consulting, civil engineer; Sundt Construction, construction manager; and EIS Professionals, bond management.
HGA has a long-standing commitment to promoting sustainable design through site sensitivity, resource efficiency, energy-saving technologies, and conscientious material use. The firm is winner of the national Environmental Stewardship Award from the Construction Specification Institute for the “Practice of Sustainable Design, Promoting Environmental Awareness in the Construction Industry and Educating others in the Advantages of Sustainable Design.”
HGA also is working with the College of the Desert on the Applied Sciences Building, which includes new construction and renovation of an existing building on the Palm Desert campus. The project is targeted for LEED® Silver.