Seven HMC Architects projects were recognized for excellence in sustainable design at the San Diego Green Building Council (SDGBC) 2020 Sustainability Awards and Winter Celebration. Among the award-winning projects were high-performing civic and higher education spaces that emphasize sustainable design strategies and enrich the communities they serve.

The County of San Diego North Coastal Live Well Health Center
LEED BD+C Honor Award and Most Efficient EUI Merit Award

HMC worked with the County of San Diego to design a beautiful and energy-efficient building that brings together Aging and Independence Services, a Military and Veterans Resource Center, Community Health Promotions, Regional Administration, Public Health Services, and Behavioral Health Services. The site enjoys plentiful Pacific Ocean breezes, so the project took a “passive first” approach to the design. The result is a beautiful building that generates more energy than it needs to operate with an energy use intensity (EUI) 75 percent less than the national average. The project is only the second LEED Platinum building in Oceanside and the first in nearly a decade. It is also the only net-zero public medical office in California.

Cal Poly Pomona Student Housing
LEED BD+C Citation Award

One of the biggest drawbacks of a school where many freshmen commute is the struggle to socialize. So, when HMC envisaged a new design for Cal Poly Pomona, our team had a key underlying objective: Create intimate environments that keep students on campus and encourage them to feel part of a community. The school’s new residential towers and dining commons serve as a highly visible entry point and transform the campus into a modern-living cosmopolitan populace. The design team’s approach to high-performance design was to integrate the setting – view, context, history, smell, light, and air – into one’s experience through passive design strategies. These strategies work together to achieve 28 percent energy cost savings. The jury admired how the design draws from extensive research to create a setting that evokes a comfortable home environment including spaces permeated with natural light and fresh air from operable windows. The jury was especially impressed with the integration of red list free materials.

San Bernardino Valley College Technical Education Building
Unbuilt LEED BD+C Merit Award

A highly transparent entry and exhibit gallery, multi-functional lobby, visually connected lab, circulation, and collaborative spaces in the design of the new Technical Education Building fosters program exposure, collaboration, and cross-disciplinary partnerships. The jury admired the repeatable sustainable strategies such as thermal chimneys, solar entry canopy, phase change materials, and an all-electric mechanical design. All of which foster a living laboratory experience that is targeting LEED platinum, 30 percent below title 24, and expecting an annual utility savings of $25,000.

Chaffey Community College’s Chino Instruction Building
Unbuilt LBC Zero Energy Honor Award

HMC worked with Chaffey Community College to provide a much-needed expansion of classroom, office, event, and support spaces to meet the campus’ growing needs. The single, two-story, 35,676 square-foot building is on target to achieve the Living Building Challenge’s Zero Energy Certification, with the sum of the energy use being offset with on-site renewable energy. The jury appreciated the team’s knowledge that natural ventilation is not always the solution to reduce energy usage. Often buildings that are designed with natural ventilation do not use it operationally due to environment and temperature challenges. This project looks at the building’s envelope, performance analysis, and daylight analysis to enhance the energy strategy.

San Benito County Free Library
Unbuilt ZNE Honor Award

The concept of the Library’s design sees in-between spaces as opportunities to ​foster community, engage with the environment, and allow light, air, water ​, and energy to enrich the building. A plant-filled atrium is designed to passively cool and scrub ​outside air, while a solar chimney moves warm air out of the building. A lattice skin provides shade and diffused light to interior spaces. Condensate ​recovery water is stored in an underground tank and used to irrigate a green ​roof, replenishing its thermal cooling potential. These strategies reduce the overall energy use, allow the building to achieve Net Positive status, and ​return energy back to the neighboring community.  The design of the library was an aspirational design entered into the Architecture at Zero competition.

The Mt. San Antonio College Climate Action Plan
Second Nature Certified Merit Award for Sustainable Neighborhoods

In 2014, Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) signed the American College and University Presidents’ Commitment on Climate and enlisted HMC to direct the development of a CAP. To develop the plan, HMC sustainability experts engaged members of the campus through two conferences, an eco-charette, multiple flex day sessions, expert- and peer-review in-person sessions and document review, consultant contributions and direct work with the Associated Students Environmental Senate and members of the Environmental Action Group for a Livable Earth (EAGLE) club. The plan sets standards and recommendations for moving the Mt. SAC campus towards carbon neutrality and sustainability–at every level of the institution–toward the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The jury admired the large scope of efforts to develop a climate action plan which included both student and community engagement. The plan is already having a translational impact that goes beyond policy, HMC is using the plan’s recommendations for energy, water, and waste in its design of the school’s new Athletics Complex.

“We share these honors with our wonderful clients,” said HMC President + CEO Brian Staton. “At HMC, we aim to design healthy, resilient, sustainable spaces that enrich the lives of our communities. The recognition of these projects by the SDGBC is a significant validation of our mission and we are very proud.”

SDGBC is a community of over 250 members working together to create a better world through better buildings. Their annual awards program celebrates the people, projects, and innovations in the sustainability community. To learn more visit SDGBC’s website.