San Francisco College Gains Green Building

Photovoltaic solar, a geothermal heating and cooling system, a green roof, and even an innovative passive cooling system–City College of San Francisco’s new Joint-Use Academic Facility features the latest in green building tech, in keeping with San Francisco‘s leading role in all things green.

Construction on this 110,000-square-foot, three-story building recently came in a week ahead of schedule, bringing  new classrooms, specialized laboratories, offices, study space, and student development facilities to City College’s Ocean View Campus.

image via CCSF

One of the most notable green features of the building is its unique passive cooling system. A louvered central atrium and skylight system–driven by wind power–takes advantage of natural ventilation by allowing airflow from the perimeter classrooms to be exhausted through the glazed skylights at the roof level. This maximizes air circulation (a key component of a healthy indoor environment) as well as passive cooling in the summer months.

Also of interest is the building’s basement-located Central Utility Plant, which is supported by a massive, 400-well ground loop geothermal exchange system installed on the campus back in 2009. This Central Plant will provide hot and cold water not only for the Joint-Use building’s heating and cooling needs–through the wonders of radiant, in floor heat–but for those of four additional campus buildings as they are brought online in the future.

The building recently received LEED-NC Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.