California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) enlisted Gensler’s climate and sustainability services to help reach the university’s goal of achieving net-zero status by 2030. Two ambitious projects establish a culture of sustainability and set a tone for the future of the campus, as they seek to achieve certification under the Institute for Living Future’s Living Building Challenge (LBC), as well as U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system, at the Platinum level of certification. The projects include the Housing Administration Building, two parallel buildings sharing an 88 kWh photovoltaic array canopy, and the Parkside North Residence Hall, a three-and four-story dormitory, housing 478 students.
Approximately 400 solar photovoltaic panels will be installed on the roofs of the two buildings and the central courtyard canopy. The canopy provides onsite renewable energy and frames the entrance to the Housing Administration Building, a social hub and state-of-the-art workplace that serves as a gateway into the student-life neighborhood. Parkside North, the student housing complex, completed by McCarthy Building Company in collaboration with Gensler, is the CSU system’s first net zero energy LBC Petal certified residential building.
The Gensler design team of Climate & Sustainability consultants integrated sustainable design strategies such as the use of reclaimed water, solar panels, drought-resistant plants, natural light and ventilation, and chemical-free construction materials, helping the entire project achieve LEED Platinum status, with the housing portion obtaining a partial LBC Petal certification. These projects set a new standard for green building, not only in the CSU system, but also for higher education broadly.