Kirsh Center for Environmental Studies
The Kirsch Center is the lead demonstration project for energy conservation and sustainability for the California Community College System. It features high quality natural daylighting in all key spaces, natural ventilation, radiant heating and cooling, underfloor air conditioning, and a 30 kw solar photovoltaics system.
"A building that teaches" is a mission statement of the project. The building itself teaches - all systems are exposed at the ceilings, windows view into all utility functions and each exterior side of the building is different in response to the effect of the sun in that direction.
"The Maxes" are innovative and popular learning areas where small student groups work and study in public areas. Uses include classrooms, adjacent outdoor classrooms, biodiversity lab, energy management lab, department offices, student intern offices, learning resource center, energy exhibit hall and many diverse study nooks and alcoves.
The project has been awarded LEED Platinum from the USGBC.
Van der Ryn Architects were the Design Architects & sustainability champions for the project. VBN Architects were the Architect of Record.