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De Anza College Mediated Learning Center Wins 2010 Best Practices Award

Engineering firm WSP, along with project partners Ratcliff Architects, has received the Best Overall Sustainable Design Award for 2010 Best Practices, for their design for the California-based De Anza College Mediated Learning Center. Hosted by the Energy Efficiency Partnership Program for Higher Education Buildings, the Best Practices awards recognize achievements that the California State University, University of California, and California Community College campuses have made through innovative and effective energy efficiency projects and sustainable operations.


Scheduled for completion in 2012, the 52,000-square-foot building, located on the main campus of De Anza College (a California community college in the city of Cupertino), features teaching labs and classrooms, distance learning facilities, a television studio, and two 100-seat lecture halls.

The project, budgeted at $41 million, is being proposed by WSP for a LEED® Platinum certification.

“It was a wonderful honor to be recognized at the 2010 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference for our efforts,” says David Cooper, PE, LEED AP, president and chief executive officer of WSP. “At WSP, we’re constantly challenging ourselves in the area of energy efficiency, and the Mediated Learning Center design is quite ambitious in that regard.”

Key sustainable design features of the De Anza College Mediated Learning Center include:

  • a fan-less passive downdraft air conditioning system, including architecturally integrated supply air stacks and under-floor displacement air distribution, resulting in 27% savings in HVAC energy, while providing excellent indoor air quality and comfort with conditioned 100% outside air supplied via displacement diffusers;
  • Solar thermal evacuated tube collectors providing over 40% of heating hot water and over 50% of domestic hot water;
  • Natural lighting in combination with daylight controls in classrooms, offices, and circulation areas, to reduce lighting energy by over 40% and improve comfort;
  • An overall 43% reduction in energy cost against the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Standard Guideline “90.1 – 2004”; and
  • An overall reduction in carbon emissions when compared with CEBECS data of 71% -- thereby meeting the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Challenge 2015 target.

Winners of the Best Practices Awards were chosen by a distinguished panel from the Los Angeles Community College District, the University of California systems, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

WSP's San Francisco is providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and architectural lighting services on the project, in addition to specialist sustainable design services by Built Ecology, the firm’s in-house sustainability consultancy.