Alumni News


One of Only Four Santa Monica ‘New Construction’ to Achieve Highest-Level Green Building Rating


Santa Monica, CASanta Monica College (SMC) is proud to announce that its new physical education facility, the Core Performance Center (CPC) has been awarded LEED Platinum certification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This is the highest-level of certification offered by the USGBC. The CPC is one of just four buildings in the ‘New Construction’ category in Santa Monica to earn the distinction.


The CPC stands in good company; it is one of only 806 New Construction LEED Platinum-certified commercial projects, both privately and publicly owned, in the U.S. In total, there are 1,692 LEED Platinum commercial projects nationwide.


LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design—incorporates four levels of certification (Certified; Silver; Gold; Platinum) and is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. The CPC is SMC’s first LEED Platinum-rated building. Two other SMC buildings have achieved LEED Silver status: The Information Technology Building, and theHumanities and Social Services Building (HSS). SMC’s recently-unveiled Center for Media and Design and KCRW Media Center on Stewart Street is also on track to earn Silver level certification.


“In addition to being a beautiful centerpiece in the heart of the Santa Monica College’s main campus, the Core Performance Center provides an inspirational setting that speaks literally and figuratively to SMC’s commitment to sustainability. The CPC will contribute to student achievement and enhance the quality of life for students, faculty and staff,” said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery. “We sought to design and construct a facility that met academic needs and, also, the highest energy efficiency standards. We are proud of this certification and are immensely thankful to the Santa Monica and Malibu voters who made this construction effort possible by approving Bond Measures S and AA.”


Designed by Gensler and constructed by Bernards, the 63,500-square foot, three-story Core Performance Center—which houses SMC’s Athletics, Physical Education, Fitness and Dance programs—is located in the heart of the SMC main campus. It features a fitness center; modern dance studios; classrooms; athletic locker rooms; offices; and a climbing wall.


“Santa Monica College is proud of the Core Performance Center,” said Greg Brown, Director of Facilities at SMC. “This green building, with its natural light, low-emitting materials, and easy access from public transportation, fulfills SMC’s mission of sustainability. The USGBC LEED Platinum rating is an example of SMC’s commitment to responsible and sustainable design.”


The USGBC scorecard awarded highest points to the CPC for innovation and regional priority, as well as top scores for water efficiency; energy and atmosphere, and indoor environmental quality. One of the key features of the CPC’s LEED certification was the closed-loop, Central Cooling plant in the building’s basement, which provides benefits including increased energy efficiency and reducing the use of refrigerants, which can leak and create greenhouse gases.


Other top-scoring features of the CPC recognized by the USGBC included solar thermal heating; water efficient landscaping and low-flow plumbing fixtures; energy efficient building design with the highest possible energy performance threshold, and the maximum output of renewable energy through photovoltaic panels; the use of low-volatile organic compounds (VOC) materials, using green housekeeping practices and installing low-mercury lighting fixtures, among many others.


Set on a 38-acre main campus just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica College has several state-of-the-art satellite campuses including the Performing Arts Campus on Santa Monica Blvd.; the Bundy Campus; the Emeritus Campus on Second Street; and the newly-unveiled Center for Media and Design on Stewart Street. SMC is also a leader among community colleges nationwide in many facets of sustainability, ranging from employee and student engagement to curriculum, facilities, and transportation. It was the first California Community College to gain a Bronze-level Bike Friendly University award from the League of American Bicyclists.


Santa Monica College is the leader among California’s 114 community colleges in transfers to the University of CaliforniaUSC, and Loyola Marymount University. SMC also offers 110 career-focused degrees and certificates—in fields such as Early Childhood Education, Game Design, Animation, Film Production, Accounting, and many more—which prepare students for direct entry into the job market or for transfer.


To learn more about SMC’s sustainability efforts, including its LEED-certified buildings, visit:www.smc.edu/sustainability.

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