SoCal Student Hub Scores LEED Gold Certification

By SCN Staff

WILMINGTON, Calif.—The Los Angeles Harbor College Student Union Building in Wilmington, designed by HMC Architects, has achieved LEED Gold Certification.

The 59,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art learning and social hub is home to the LAHC’s Culinary Arts Program as well as campus bookstore, dining hall, student government offices, and a multi-purpose room for a common gathering space. The intentional design unites the existing campus buildings while establishing itself as a unique member of the growing campus. As home to the school’s culinary arts program, the building features two industrial sized kitchens, two auditorium style demonstration classrooms, and a small bistro where student chefs cook and serve meals to visiting guests.

The HMC team, which partnered with Bernards on the design-build project, incorporated several sustainable design strategies to achieve Gold Certification including natural daylighting, drought tolerant landscaping, and low-emitting materials. The building’s roof reflects solar radiation and paving materials with low heat absorption reduce heat island impacts. Skylights bring daylight deep into the building and exterior sunshades prevent sun glare. Solar panels installed in the adjacent student parking lot offset over 17 percent of the building’s total energy use and helped the building achieve over 45 percent energy savings.

HMC Architects is a healthcare, education, and civic architecture firm, with over 350 employees across seven offices in the western U.S.—including California and Arizona. Bernards is a California-based commercial builder and construction management company that includes offices in San Fernando and Irvine.