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Apr. 25, 2013

Southern California Student Housing Wins LEED Platinum

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Fullerton, Calif.—CSU Fullerton Student Housing Phase III, a 348,000-square-foot student housing community in Fullerton, Calif., has been awarded “Best Overall Sustainable Design” in the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference’s 8th Annual Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Best Practices Awards Competition. The property is a design-build project designed by Steinberg Architects and constructed by PCL Construction Services Inc.

First occupied for the fall 2011 semester, the community has six buildings with a total of 1,056 beds. The largest construction project ever built on the Fullerton campus, CSU Fullerton Student Housing Phase III currently houses 1,900 students, which more than doubled the campus’s residential population when it opened.

Typical rooms are double occupancy, traditional dormitory style, distributed among five buildings, each of which is five stories. The sixth building is single level and contains a dining hall. The community also includes housing offices, conference and classroom space, laundry, and community rooms on every level, and a central plant. Other site work created a large central pedestrian piazza area with a fountain, new student parking lot, improvements to campus-wide storm drainage and utility infrastructure.

In 2012, the property was certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council, becoming the first such project in the California State University system. Among other features that won the property its Platinum designation are a four-pipe central plant HVAC system, bioswales for storm water management, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and high-efficiency glass and window systems. CSU Fullerton Student Housing Phase III also sports LED outdoor lighting, sunshades, and enhanced commissioning.

LEED Platinum is still a fairly rare distinction, with roughly 1,000 properties so designated worldwide. The first Platinum building in Orange County, Calif., was the learning center at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, which was completed in 2008.

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