LA Pierce

M&O Building and Net Zero Central Plant

Work Performed

Southland Industries collaborated with the Los Angeles Community College District, GKK Works, and Cupertino Electric to design and build a 42,000 square foot operation and maintenance (O&M) facility and Near-Net Zero energy plant at Los Angeles Pierce College. Initially including only the O&M facility, Southland’s solution for the project resulted in higher energy efficiency by incorporating a new central energy plant. The system is designed to provide 100 percent of the facility’s cooling and heating loads through the use of solar arrays, with boilers to satisfy conditioning needs when solar thermal energy is not available. While solar thermal has been used at other colleges, this system uniquely implements a single source of cooling for the building. Therefore, the solution is able to even the heating and cooling loads. The result is the state’s first permitted Near-Net Zero facility using the design-build method.

Project Highlights
Southland designed and constructed the renewable energy component of the central plant using a solar thermal system that features 4,800 individual evacuated tube collectors installed on the O&M facility’s roof. Additionally, Southland selected effective solar absorption chillers to heat and coolnbuildings using the power of the sun. Southland installed two 2,000 MBH boilers as backup for the solar thermal system when hot water is not being generated, and a 42,000 gallon underground solar hot water storage tank. 

The Near Net-Zero design uses solar thermal power to generate heating and cooling for the new 0&M building and horticultural buildings, which house the a gardening area, offices, administrative space, and electrical, plumbing, and carpentry shops. The infrastructure design provides for future solar thermal evacuated tube collectors and expansion provisions.

Additional highlights include:

  • Energy audit: lighting and lighting controls, water conservation, HVAC, demand response, building controls, central plant, waste, and building envelope.
  • Energy savings/calculations .
  • Guaranteed and stipulated savings.
  • Fast-track design-build project.
  • 189 kW of solar photovoltaic.
  • 2010 Energy Efficiency Partnership Programs Best Practice Award.