The College of Marin is promoting community engagement and environmental stewardship with their new sustainable academic center in Northern California. TLCD Architecture + Mark Cavagnero Associates submitted the winning design for the 48,000 square-foot building, which aims to engage the community beyond the campus, to enhance and unify the existing campus configuration, and to become an educational resource for integrated sustainable design. That’s a tall order, but the new building is smartly designed to meet the challenge while showcasing an impressive array of green building strategies.
The New Academic Center at the College of Marin includes a 200-seat auditorium, classrooms, computer labs, and faculty/administrative spaces. It’s designed to serve as an iconic focal point that connects the campus and the community while serving as a learning tool for sustainability. Exterior sunscreens and interior shades will significantly enhance passive cooling, while natural lighting and ventilation throughout the buildings will reduce or eliminate the need for artificial lighting and mechanical cooling.
Native plants will be reintroduced to the site through a series of gardens, vegetative swales, and living roofs. Where possible, locally manufactured, recycled, and low-VOC building materials will be used. The Academic Center provides a variety of different outdoor spaces that encourage interaction between students, faculty, staff, and visitors.