The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), which covers the largest area of any community college district in the world, educates 200,000 students per year. As part of a near net-zero energy project called "The Island," LACCD wanted to design two buildings that would scale innovative energy strategies to encompass the entire campus. They wanted to use 3D building information modeling (BIM) to generate and manage building data to increase productivity in building design, energy modeling, construction, and the overall asset life cycle.
e7 Architecture Studio won the contract to design the new maintenance and operations facility and a retrofitted horticulture facility that includes four classrooms. The designers used Bentley software to design the facilities to be near net-zero buildings using a mini central plant, vacuum tube heat pipes, and an absorption chiller. To model the performance of the vacuum tube heat pipes – a challenge for the team – they used Bentley’s i-model technology as a container for integration between multiple BIM platforms, Trimble’s SketchUp, and energy analysis tools.
This design, which combines a mini central plant, vacuum tube heat pipes, an absorption chiller, and a photovoltaic array in the parking lot should provide near net-zero energy use. Once built, these facilities will have no impact on natural resources or the surrounding environment. BIM was used in the workflow to design, visualize, and validate the energy performance of this renewable energy solution.
The design team used Hevacomp Mechanical Designer for the mechanical design. Bentley's Hevacomp Simulation solution enabled accurate analysis of innovative sustainable strategies and equipment. Bentley i-models enabled the interoperability between the multiple modeling platforms used to create the design.