Architects: Fentress Architects
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Design Builder: Hensel Phelps Construction Company
Client: University of California, Irvine
Cost: $29 million
Area: 76.0 ft2
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Heliphoto, Nick Merrick & Hedrich Blessing
From the architect. Designed by Fentress Architects, Humanities Gateway is one of only 40 LEED Platinum Buildings in California, Los Angeles, CA (December 15, 2011) — The design-build team of Fentress Architects and Hensel Phelps Construction Company are excited to announce that the UC Irvine Humanities Gateway building has been awarded LEED Platinum certification, scoring well above the minimum requirement for that status. A signature gateway to the School of Humanities,
Fentress Architects’ design honors the master plan created by architect William Pereira while incorporating highly innovative and effective sustainable features.
“The designers masterfully integrated the Gateway Humanities Building into the heart of our campus. We gave them a challenging vision to create ‘a sense of unforeseen possibilities.’ What they achieved surpassed our expectations. This innovative and sustainable building will be appreciated for years to come,” said Rebekah Gladson, FAIA, Associate Vice Chancellor and Campus Architect.
Design Vision | The University of California, Irvine asked the architects for a design that captured the complex, multi-disciplinary character of a humanities education -- a place to create a “sense of unforeseen possibilities.” The building’s split persona was inspired by Janus, the two-faced god of mythological literature with the gift of vision into both past and future. On one side of the building, a thoughtful, formal façade reflects the school’s context with a design in harmony with the campus’ existing architecture. On the opposing courtyard side, the building expresses a more organic, free-flowing design intended to evoke a sense of delight. The curvy, crystalline wall rises four stories, presenting a modern ribbon of glass panels in four different widths installed in a random manner.
Sustainability | The Gateway achieved 57 of the 52 minimum benchmark points to ensure U.S.G.B.C. LEED Platinum certification. The glass and metal wall system spans the building façade from floor to ceiling on all four levels, invigorating the interior with daylight and minimizing the need for energy consumption. In addition, three-story light wells penetrate the building upward to the sky, infusing the heart of the building with natural light. Taking advantage of the temperate Southern California climate, outdoor areas on the second floor invite students for relaxation and study.
The mechanical system incorporates 100% outside air economizers and variable flow fans to maximize energy efficiency. The design team created mechanical spaces for custom-built air handlers to maximize serviceability for all primary components. Supporting the School’s endeavor to encourage global citizenship in its students, the building provides an inspiring example for students, architects and the public for promoting sustainability in design.
Specific sustainable strategies include:
• Integration with UCI's efficient central plant to produce chilled water and heated water, while chilling and storing for use during the day
• Efficient steam turbines
• Mechanical and plumbing systems that exceed Title 24 requirements • Occupancy sensors that control HVAC and lighting systems to draw power only when people are present.
• Use of 40% regional materials (less than 500 miles) to save on fuel included in shipping costs
• Low E glass
• Full commissioning service to ensure the building runs on optimal settings
• Efficient use of machine room-less elevators in lieu of hydraulic elevators
• Removal of hot water requirements in the lavatories to save on water heating costs