Structure Type: built works - public buildings - schools - university buildings

Designers: tBP/Architecture, Incorporated (firm)

Dates: constructed 2012-2013

2 stories, total floor area: 39,880 sq. ft.

College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA

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The Desert Community College District commissioned tBP/Architecture of Newport Beach, CA, to design this LEED Silver Communications Building at the College of the Desert. The architects discussed the efforts at achieving a high LEED rating: "With a goal of achieving LEED GOLD, this energy efficient building is a formula for a hot arid climate. Deep overhangs and sunscreens allow well placed windows to temper the amazing light and while protecting the exterior walls from direct heat gain. Recycled materials utilized on the interior and structure, efficient mechanical systems, sola-tubes and high efficiency lighting all contributed to achieving a high level of energy efficiency. The use of indigenous materials of the area on the exterior such as natural stone, smooth plaster and metal panels were chosen to reinforce and continue the local Palm Springs Moderne architectural heritage espoused by original campus architect’s Albert Frye and Williams and Williams." (See "College of the Desert Communication Building,"Accessed 10/08/2014.) Working in a climate as harsh as Palm Desert makes earning the highest LEED ratings difficult, as so much effort must be used to moderate it.

The Communication Building contained 26 faculty offices, 18 interdisciplinary study spaces, 8 general-purpose classrooms, 2 adjunct faculty rooms, a photocopy room, the communication division's administrative suite that included the dean's office, clerical spaces, 2 meeting rooms, and miscellaneous support spaces. The architects commented on their web site (c. 2013): "Evolving student needs are met by providing the ability to access technology anywhere in the building and by providing many different types of gathering spaces especially adjacent to staff office areas to encourage student and staff interaction. The various spaces are intended to allow students to find respite from the sometimes harsh climate." (See "College of the Desert Communication Building,"Accessed 10/08/2014.)

PCAD id: 19425