The Cucamonga Valley Water District established the non-profit Frontier Foundation in 2005 as a way to help Southern California deal with environmental challenges. Their mission is to show residents, builders and companies that sustainable design can be economical, efficient, and inviting. In order to demonstrate these ideals, the foundation built the Frontier Project building in Rancho Cucamonga. Designed by HMC Architects, the 14,000 sq ft building shows off a slew of sustainable technologies and strategies like a green roof, photovoltaics, green interiors, a native garden, energy efficient HVAC, daylighting, passive solar design and much more. The Frontier Project also received its LEED Platinum certification in May of 2010.
Constructed out of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), the large multi-purpose building features full-height glazing on the north side of the u-shaped building to pull daylight into the interior. On the south side, a sun screen made from reclaimed wood deliverd from a nearby vineyard, protects the interior from overheating. A passive cooling system draws cooler air in through the bottom and expels hot air up and out through chimneys in the roof.
The roof features three separate technologies to help regulate interior temperatures. First, a large photovoltaic array soaks up the sun’s energy, converts it into electricity for use within the building, and also acts as a shading device. Second, a green roof serves as insulation, reduces heat island effect and soaks up rainwater. Finally, the remainder of the roof is coated with a cool roof surface that reflects the sun’s light away. Landscaping around the building features pervious pavers, native and drought tolerant plants, as well as rainwater collection.
Completed in October 2009, The Frontier Project has received numerous honors including an Architecture Award from the LA Business Council as well as its LEED Platinum Certification. Tours are open to the public every weekday from 9 am to 3 pm, while kiosks provide more information on the eco-friendly kitchen and living room, green roof, solar panel array, and the native and waterless garden area.