UC San Diego's new Charles David Keeling Apartments are named after the American scientist whose research first alerted the world to the buildup of carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect. Designed by KieranTimberlake, the student housing project is a model for energy and water efficiency, and it features a green roof, passive shading devices, daylighting, and a water recycling system unique to the campus.
Second year students of UCSD used to be housed in two separate locations on campus away from their main dining hall, so the Keeling Apartments were constructed to consolidate their housing at Revelle College. Now the students are all grouped together near their dining hall, with a number of amenities at their disposal. The C-shaped project is made up of three buildings around a central courtyard. Apartments feature a shared kitchen and living area with a number of shared rooms around them. With the mild San Diego climate, exterior walkways and hallways access the apartments, which helps minimize the climate controlled space. Inside, each room is bright and sunny from daylighting and no AC is required because of the ability to naturally ventilate all the spaces. Heating, when necessary, is provided by individually controlled radiant heat panels in the private rooms.
To live up to Charles David Keeling, for which the apartments are named, the design works to address pressing environmental issues in the SoCal region like stormwater management, water scarcity, and carbon emissions. The exterior features a variety of shading devices that regulate solar heat gain according to the facade and aspect. The roof of one of the buildings is covered with vegetation to up stormwater. Meanwhile landscaping on the ground includes retention ponds and bioswales to soak up rainwater and keep it from flowing into the ocean. Rainwater and grey water is also recycled throughout the project and minimizes overall potable water use. Energy efficient design, systems and lighting further reduce energy use, while an rooftop PV system provides 6% of the building’s energy use.
The Charles David Keeling Apartments was recently names as one of the Top Ten Green Projects of 2013 by AIA/COTE.
Images ©Tim Griffith and KieranTimberlake