Harbor College Science Complex wins award for environmental excellence


by Gabriel Islas

Science Complex building at Harbor Photo courtesy of The Hoyt Organization Inc.
Science Complex building at Harbor
Photo courtesy of The Hoyt Organization Inc.

Los Angeles Harbor College Science Complex, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), has received LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification for sustainable design awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

In addition to earning LEED Platinum, the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) awards program  recently recognized HGA’s design and planning of the Science Complex with a SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture award.

In a statement released by Claire Marshall, account executive at The Hoyt Organization Inc., a public relations firm, she explains why the science complex at Harbor College was awarded with such a distinction

“The three-story, 73,767-square-foot complex, which houses the physical science and life science departments, opened in fall 2013 and integrates numerous sustainable strategies to achieve net zero energy,” Marshall said. “Strategies include building-integrated photovoltaic panels (BIPV) connected to the campus PV systems, occupancy-sensor lighting, natural ventilation, abundant daylight, integrated building systems that respond to weather conditions, energy-recovery system that converts exhaust air into energy, and exterior corridors and outdoors classrooms that lessen energy loads.”

HGA is an architecture, engineering and planning firm that helps prepare its costumers for the future. With offices throughout the United States, HGA has been open since 1953.

The science complex uses the newest technology available for college campuses so that students who are involved in the science field get the chance to perform any paper research, or lab research to reach the potential that they are required to.

Here are some of the key components of the science complex building that helped the judges select the building with such an honor:

  • 55 percent less energy cost compared to baseline
  • 31 percent of energy provided by BIPV (remainder from central campus system)
  • 600,000 +/- pounds CO2 avoided from energy conservation
  • 2,000,000 +/- pounds CO2 offset by net zero energy (equal to approximately 166 cars annual emissions)
  • 64  percent less irrigation water usage
  • Zero potable water for irrigation
  • 54 percent less building water usage
  • 42 percent recycled content (LEED minimum 10%)
  • 28 percent local materials (LEED minimum 10%)
  • 69 percent  FSC certified wood (LEED minimum 50%)$103,000 potential annual energy cost savings

Source: The Hoyt Organization Inc.

“The building is designed to be net zero energy, and its renewable energy plan was accepted as part of the LEED Platinum certification,” said Patrick Thibaudeau, LEED fellow, vice president of sustainability at HGA. “For a high-energy building such as a science laboratory, this is a major accomplishment.”

Michael Song, chair of Architecture department at Harbor, said, “I’m very proud of our college. We have made a priority to build buildings that are energy efficient. As an architect, I believe the science building enhances our overall image on our campus. The elevations and the exterior courtyard creates an inviting environment for students to gather outside, the “feel” of the building is modern, and technical.”

Another view of the award-winning Science Complex Photo courtesy of The Hoyt Organization Inc.
Another view of the award-winning Science Complex
Photo courtesy of The Hoyt Organization Inc.



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