The Mesa College mission has clearly carried through the landscape design by providing an experience with a large focus on maximized site functionality and sustainability.
Exercise Science Facility & The Commons Café & Bookstore
With a comprehensive commitment to access, success, equity, and to foster an effect of positive change within our community, the Mesa College mission was clearly carried through the landscape design by providing an experience with a large focus on maximized site functionality and sustainability.
San Diego-based McCullough Landscape Architecture, alongside project team members MA Engineers, addressed the College’s focal sustainability initiatives with unique design elements and complimentary features for the The Commons and the adjacent Exercise Science building while hitting the following goals:
Conserve Water and Minimize Storm Water Runoff
192,000 gallons – that’s the estimated annual storm water runoff collected by the six below ground 1,700 gallon cisterns that will reclaim water to be used for site landscaping irrigation of the The Commons café and bookstore.
Permeable paving is utilized throughout hardscape areas to reduce site storm water runoff, and landscape areas are designed to capture and filter runoff from other areas of the site.
Mitigate the Heat Island Effect
Shading areas were maximized in order to minimize increases in ambient temperature.
275,500 gallons – that’s the amount of condensate water estimated to be collected annually for campus re-use. The Commons is the first building of all the San Diego County community college properties to house a group of six 1,700 gallon cisterns that provide 100% of the site’s irrigation needs (up to 98,000 gallons) through reclaimed HVAC condensate water and collected rain water. An organic rooftop garden is also a first for the campus. Used by the Culinary Arts Management department and fed by the day tank, the garden will provide some of the produce used in the building’s student-run café. In addition, the plant palette for both buildings includes California native and drought-tolerant species, providing 75% reduction in total irrigation water needs through the selection of native and drought tolerant plants – saving another 300,696 gallons annually.
The Commons is the first building of all the San Diego County community colleges to implement an innovative HVAC condensate reclamation system design that will provide 100% of the site’s irrigation needs.
Reduce Landscape Maintenance
Maintenance-intensive plant material selections were reduced for both buildings to realize economic savings over time.
Contribute to Regional Ecosystem Function
Plant species were chosen to attract pollinators and provide habitat for local fauna.
Strengthen Mesa College’s Identity as a Sustainable Campus
McCullough has successfully begun a campus-wide renovation within these two projects (as well as the adjacent Center for Business & Technology, currently under construction) while reinforcing Mesa College’s commitment to sustainability.