California State University Long Beach, College for Professional and International Education
Long Beach, Calif.
Best Project

Owner: California State University
Lead Design Firm: ZGF
General Contractor: MATT Construction
Civil Engineer: Psomas
Structural Engineer: MHP
MEP Engineer: P2S Inc.

California State University’s $27-million, 34,000-sq-ft College of Professional and International Education (CPIE) serves as a hub for international students to collaborate and integrate with the broader campus community. Accordingly, project team members sited the building at the intersection of a busy campus entry point and two major pedestrian thoroughfares.

The CPIE building has 20 classrooms, flexible conferencing space and a variety of open-air communal spaces. It is designed to achieve LEED Platinum status—the project team used the building’s footprint and orientation to provide daylighting and natural ventilation for 95% of its spaces. It is the campus’ first net-zero-energy classroom building.

Team members also incorporated energy-efficient systems, including radiant heating and cooling, LED lighting with sophisticated occupancy and daylight controls, occupancy-controlled power outlets and a photovoltaic system.

The classrooms have operable windows, ceiling fans and a direct outside air mechanical system to promote efficient cross-ventilation while maintaining indoor air quality and minimizing the structure’s carbon footprint.

The building, which sits on the Edward Killingsworth-designed campus, strikes a balance between respecting the architecture of existing structures and delivering a contemporary design that is forward looking. The building expresses Killingsworth’s vision of simple volumes organized around central, open spaces with a lighter, larger volume set upon a heavier, rusticated plinth that forms a rectilinear right angle that embraces a landscaped courtyard. Designers matched the primary building materials with Killingsworth’s palette and used secondary materials, colors and architectural detailing to accent the building’s unique signature.

With plans for campus-wide carbon neutrality by 2030, planners, including the design-build team of architect ZGF and general contractor MATT Construction, used BIM energy modeling throughout design to ensure sustainability measures were integrated into the building’s aesthetics and functionality.

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