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CSU East Bay Student and Faculty Support Building

CSU East Bay’s new Student and Faculty Support Building showcases sustainable design and contemporary architectural aesthetics, providing a fitting gateway for campus users and visitors. This five-story structure houses administrative offices, conference facilities, and the campus welcome center, and was built to replace the iconic 13-story Warren Hall that was seismically unsound.

The building exemplifies smart and cost-effective solutions, including renewable energy generation, that are applicable to campuses throughout California.

The form of the new building is unconventional, with two intersecting volumes in an L-shaped plan, with the upper volume dramatically bridging an entry to create a covered outdoor space. The building facades are also unique and contribute to energy conservation, animated with narrow horizontal windows that expand to full height glass at key locations, framing views to the surrounding campus, and to the bay and hills beyond.

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The building's form provides a covered entry space used for events. Operable windows (image at top) are revealed by shadows on the facade.

Energy and water conservation were key drivers during the design process. Although CSUEB had previously built following LEED standards, this was first time the campus applied for certification. The building was designed to use 50 percent less energy than a Title-24 baseline, counting generation from the rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system, saving over $100,000 in annual energy costs. These energy measures are expected to earn all 19 LEED credits for optimizing energy performance, contributing significantly to LEED-Gold certification.

The building was initially designed to be only “PV-ready,” but the design team discovered that the reduced energy costs could be used to pay for a 100 kW PV array as part of the base building budget. A large PV array is visible from inside the fourth floor elevator lobby, demonstrating the building’s sustainable aspirations to visitors and occupants. Cool roofing materials reduce both building energy loads and heat-island effects of the building.

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Lobby image showing durable finishes and energy efficient lighting design.

Lighting in the building is highly energy efficient, with LED fixtures and occupancy sensors throughout, and intuitive user-friendly controls. On the fourth and fifth floors, operable windows are provided for occupant control and ventilation. To reduce HVAC energy use, these windows are equipped with sensors that reduce space conditioning in the zones where windows are open.

The project’s landscape design responds to its site by reducing disruption to natural water flows, allowing for on-site infiltration of rainwater, and filtration of runoff before it enters the city’s storm system. Drought tolerant plants and water-conserving irrigation are expected to reduce landscape irrigation by over 80 percent, and indoor water use has been reduced by 40 percent compared to the LEED baseline.

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Full-height glazing is largely reserved for public spaces and conference rooms.

The building was designed with special concern for seismic performance, as the Hayward Fault is less than one mile from the site. Ductile reinforced shear walls that surround the building cores provide strength and ductility in seismic events, and one of these cores is revealed where it supports the upper floors facing the main entry. During the demolition of the obsolete Warren Hall, and construction of its replacement, over 88 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill.

Loralyn Perry, CSUEB’s Energy and Utility Manager, explains that the building has had very few complaints compared to other buildings on campus. An occupant survey will be led by the architect as part of the final commissioning process.

Images courtesy of LPA, Inc.

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Green Features
  • 100 kW rooftop photovoltaic array
  • Right-sized operable windows linked with HVAC control
  • On-site filtration of rainwater and drought tolerant landscaping
  • Efficient LED lighting with intuitive controls
  • Healthy low-VOC materials and 90% FSC-certified wood
  • Construction waste debris diversion of 88%
Annual Estimated Energy and Cost Savings
Completion Date
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