DeAnza College Media & Learning Center, Cupertino

Photo by David Wakely
LEED-Platinum facility uses passive downdraft air ventilation.
Photo by David Wakely

This LEED-Platinum "educate-by-example" center is one of the few buildings that use passive "no fan" downdraft natural-air ventilation. The designer expects the HVAC system to cut energy use by 71%, saving the school district $60,000 annually. The generously daylit two-story building is fitted with an extensive photovoltaic array and includes flexible classrooms, office suites, an indoor/outdoor student lounge and a central atrium. The energy-optimized building orientation helped create a new quad that will facilitate increased outside learning. Because construction began in the rainy season, thin layers of concrete were poured at the bottom of footings, which were lined with plastic and dewatered to meet the steel erection milestone.

Key Players

Contractor Sundt Construction, Sacramento

Owner Foothill DeAnza Community College District, Los Altos Hills

Lead Design Ratcliff, Emeryville

CM Gilbane/Maas, Cupertino

Civil Engineer Sandis, Sunnyvale

Structural Engineer Forell/Elsesser, San Francisco

MEP Engineer WSP/Flack + Kurtz, San Francisco