The Frontier Project is an incredible eco building located in Rancho Cucamonga in Southern California that serves as a headquarters for the educational non-profit under the same name. The LEED platinum building is dedicated to educating residents, commercial builders, and sustainability advocates about the latest methods and technologies in water conservation, energy efficiency, and site conservation. Designed by HMC Architects and completed in October 2009, The Frontier Project has received numerous honors including an Architecture Award from the LA Business Council.
The Cucamonga Valley Water District (CVWD) spearheads the Frontier Project as a community service initiative that educates customers on green technology and resource conservation awareness. Located to the southwest of the water district’s headquarters, the project actually serves as a wind shade by blocking the prevailing winds.
Inside the 14,000 square-foot demonstration building are examples of numerous sustainable building technologies and strategies. 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. There is also an exhibition space for special events and demonstrations.
The Frontier Project not only shows off and educates the community on good green design — it also utilizes it. The roof features three technologies that help regulate the interior temperature while reducing energy use from heating and cooling. A photovoltaic array soaks up the sun’s energy and converts it into electricity, a green roof provides insulation and infiltration, and a cool roof surface reflects the sun’s light away. A sun shade on the south side of the courtyard (made from reclaimed wood from a nearby vineyard) protects the interior from excess heat.
Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are used for the structure of the building, and large full-height north-facing windows bring natural light to the interior. A cool tower in the center brings in fresh air and cools it with mist, and hot air escapes out of two solar chimneys. The landscaping surrounding the center features pervious paving materials, native and drought tolerant landscaping and rainwater collection. The center officially received LEED Platinum certification in May 2010.