This two-story Media and Learning Center classroom building for De Anza Community College, based in the heart of California’s high-tech Silicon Valley, boasts the latest audio visual and communications technologies as befits the college’s location and mission. The LEED Platinum certified project was needed to furnish the campus with modern classroom space and serve as home to specific departments.
Most of the 14 classrooms in the building were furnished for anthropology-specific and general education use, and were designed to be flexible and transform layouts quickly to support multiple modes of learning and use. Ten of the classrooms provide capacity for up to 50 students each, and two provide capacity for 100. A specialized Distance Learning classroom, in conjunction with a television studio and production suite, was needed to support the campus’s academic broadcast media package, including online, video streaming and cable TV services.
A linear central atrium provides the campus with a rare, large indoor public space, while landscaping fronting the building furnishes some of the Ground Floor classrooms with outdoor “breakout” areas.
The crowning sustainable feature of the project is a buoyancy-driven HVAC system that operates on the principle of enhanced natural ventilation, distributing outside air without mechanical fans or ductwork. The building will use 71 percent less energy than the regional average for higher education buildings, placing it well ahead of the AIA’s 2030 Challenge and 2015 reduction target. The project’s energy features are also predicted to save the campus $60,000 per year while reinforcing the College’s legacy to produce buildings that educate by example.