Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Solar  -  May 8, 2019

Pitzer College building earns zero net energy certification

The Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College has won the first higher education building certification in California for using zero net energy. The certification, from the International Living Future Institute, has been awarded to only three other higher education structures around the world.

"Pitzer College is an extraordinary teaching and learning laboratory for our students, faculty, and staff. The Redford Conservancy represents the vision, ambitions and social consciousness of our liberal arts and sciences community of scholars in such a positive way," said Pitzer President Melvin L. Oliver, in a statement. "The Conservancy's achievement of Zero Net Energy certification affirms that vision, ambition and social consciousness."

The Redford Conservancy occupies the renovated historical infirmary building located just north of the Pitzer College main campus. A primary goal of the building renovation was to establish a model of regenerative design on a limited carbon footprint. Thanks to on-site solar arrays, the Redford Conservancy produces more energy than it consumes and sells the surplus back to Southern California Edison, the primary electricity supply company for much of Southern California.

According to the statement, the original infirmary built in 1931 was designed and constructed in the historic California mission style. Pitzer College, the environmental activist Robert Redford and principal donors were united in their vision of a facility that would retain the finest qualities of the original structure while incorporating sustainable design, construction and programming to ensure optimal energy efficiency.

In addition to receiving ILFI Net Zero Energy certification, the Redford Conservancy has also achieved the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the highest rating available.

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