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Charles David Keeling

University of California, San Diego


Corso di Laurea Magistrale Arc5UE _ laboratorio di sintesi / modulo di progettazione esecutiva _ prof. Paola Ascione_a.a. 20014/15
Charles David Keeling Apartments
U i it off C
lif i S San Di
La Jolla, California LEED Platinum
147,000 square feet

•85 6-person apartments with bath
and kitchen,
2 ttwo-story
o stor lo
•green roof terrace,
•courtyard with multiple use areas,
basketball courts, and barbeque

AIA Philadelphia Merit Award
AIA California Council Merit Award
AIA COTE Top Ten Green Project
ASLA Presidents Medal
ASCE Award of Merit for
Sustainable Technology
ASCE Region 9 Outstanding
Environmental Engineering Project
Athenaeum International
Architecture Award
San Diego Architectural
Foundation Orchid for Architecture
and Landscape
cross ventilation
green roof terrace

The vegetated roof, an unusual

feature in southern California,
helps manage stormwater, along
with grade-level landscape
systems that provide students with
a real-time lesson in
bioremediation of water through
soil, rock, and plant material.
Courtyard basins, arroyos, and a
vegetated roof (shown above)
function as a bioretention and
bioremediation system
system. Sediment
and pollutants are filtered from the
water by soil, rocks, and plants.

Precast concrete cladding panels are composed of the same mix as the structurestructure, but with a light sand
blast for tonal variation. The lighter color reflects more natural light and has higher overall indirect
illumination values.
Named for Charles David Keeling, the scientist whose research at the Scripps Institute 
N d f Ch l D id K li th i ti t h h t th S i I tit t
first alerted the world to the possibility of human impact on global atmospheric carbon, 
the apartments employ a suite of tactics to capitalize on the favorable environmental 
features of Southern California while moderating or eliminating the undesirable ones. 
The building arrangement is part of a cooling strategy that takes advantage of coastal 
breezes instead of relying on mechanical systems. Solar heat gain is controlled with 
deep overhangs on the south and west facades and industrial fiberglass shading on the 
The buildings highlight the urgency of conservation. Water‐efficient landscaping and 
efficient plumbing address water scarcity, and the integration of a pilot on‐site grey 
water recycling system provides irrigation for the landscape and a green roof, an 
unusual feature in southern California. 
The Keeling complex gives new life to existing residence halls, and retains a building 
originally slated for demolition, providing great economic value to the university. It is a 
contribution to the campus that fosters a sense of community adapts gracefully across
contribution to the campus that fosters a sense of community, adapts gracefully across 
time, and reflects the university’s environmental values in a model that will serve future 
Precast concrete cladding panels are composed of the same mix as the structure, but with a light sand blast for tonal 
variation. The lighter color reflects more natural light and has higher overall indirect illumination values.

The vegetated roof, an unusual feature in southern California, helps manage stormwater, along with grade‐level landscape 
systems that provide students with a real‐time lesson in bioremediation of water through soil, rock, and plant material.

Exterior corridors, connector bridges between buildings, and rooftop terraces offer students views of the ocean to the west 
and the mountains to the east, taking advantage of the beauty of the natural setting in San Diego. © Tim Griffith

The building siting and the positioning of operable windows harness ocean breezes to provide cooling throughout the year, 
without the use of air conditioning Natural ventilation and abundant daylighting connect occupants to the outdoors.
without the use of air conditioning. Natural ventilation and abundant daylighting connect occupants to the outdoors

Deep overhangs and vertical fins control heat gain while maximizing daylight, views, and ventilation. The fiberglass 
sunshades are positioned to correspond to the location of windows and are angled to block strong afternoon sun. The 
layering of systems to manage solar heat gain creates visual depth in the facade that varies throughout the day as lighting 
conditions change.

Lava rock walls are a predominant feature of the historic Revelle College and have been retained in the Keeling complex.

Landscape elements interweave with building elements to form an active water management system that includes 
d l h b ld l f h l d
courtyard retention basins and bioswales.
Apartments Named for Greenhouse Effect Scientist Achieve LEED Platinum

The Keeling Apartments are cooled naturally with ocean breezes, overhangs, and screens for sun control.
© Tim Griffith
The Charles David Keeling Apartments at UC San Diego have been awarded LEED-NC (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New
Construction) Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council, making the building the first LEED Platinum student housing in the
University of California system. It is also the first new building at UC San Diego to receive a Platinum rating—the highest LEED certification level that
can be achieved.
“The entire team worked mightily with the client to design every increment and system so that the complex could reach this high pinnacle,” says James
Ti b l k who
Timberlake, h served d as llead
i partner.
t “It iis a pilot
il t project
j t ffor UC S
San Di
Diego iin many ways, and
d we h
hope it serves as a model
d l ffor
environmentally responsible student housing not only for the UC system, but for colleges and universities across the country.”

The apartments utilize a suite of tactics to address Southern California’s pressing environmental challenges of storm water management, water
scarcity, and carbon emissions. Mark Cunningham, Executive Director of Housing and Dining Services at UC San Diego, said, “This is a great
achievement that reflects UC San Diego’s
Diego s broad goal of becoming one of the most sustainable campuses in the country,country and it aligns
perfectly with the world-renowned research of Dr. Keeling.”
The most significant reduction of energy comes from using natural cooling from ocean breezes instead of mechanical cooling. The effectiveness of the
buildings’ shape and arrangement to capture prevailing winds was verified through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to analyze air movement. Wind
tunnel testing was used to ensure that the window size and unit design would provide occupant comfort without using air conditioning.

Heating efficiencies are achieved by thermal mass, and by an innovative backward-constructed rainscreen and air barrier exterior wall that reduces
heat loss and water vapor infiltration. Any necessary mechanical heating is provided by a localized arrangement of individually controlled radiant
panels. Lighting energy demand is largely met by daylighting and is complemented in public spaces with occupancy-controlled lighting systems. On-site
renewable energy comes from a rooftop photovoltaic array. The PV system is the first at UC San Diego to be funded through San Diego Gas and
Electric’s innovative lease program.
W t a scarce resource in
Water, i Southern
S th C
lif i that
th t requires
i significant
i ifi t energy to
t transport,
t t is
i managedd with
ith a comprehensive
h i strategy
t t off conservation
and reuse. Conservation measures include water-efficient landscaping and plumbing. On-site wastewater recycling, a pilot project for the UC system,
provides landscape irrigation water at grade and for the planted roof. Stormwater flow into the Pacific Ocean is remediated with a system of landscape
bioswales and retention basins that reduce stormwater quantity, delay peak water flow, and control flooding in this region of the campus, with the added
benefit of reducing erosion of fragile coastal scrub arroyos, a particularly threatened ecosystem.
We were all challenged by UC San Diego leadership to use the campus as a ‘planet planet first’
first climate research tool
tool, to translate theory into
remarkable spaces,” says Martin Poirier, FASLA, the principal designer with Spurlock Poirier Landscape Architects. “They say ‘it never rains in
southern California,’ but when it does, it is torrential. Instead of flowing through a pipe to the ocean, particulate-laden storm water run-off is
filtered through the landscape. This cleansing process is made visible as beautiful, ephemeral streams on the site.”
The buildings are constructed with highly crafted, cast-in-place concrete that is left exposed inside and out. Industrial fiberglass grating was cleverly
used for sunshades and railings for its durability in marine environments, and because it does not contribute to solar heat gain. The material selections
carry the long-term benefit of lower maintenance and longer replacement intervals, resulting in reduced costs and associated energy for the school.

Since opening in 2011, the project has been recognized with an Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for its water conservation and
treatment systems, and was named Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association.