In 2001, Pitzer College reimagined its campus. The college committed itself to expanding in an environmentally responsible fashion. The 2003 Housing Master Plan proposed new residence halls designed with both architectural flair and eco-friendly features. Phase 1 of the project, Atherton Hall, was so green it achieved LEED Gold certification.
For Phase II, the construction of the Mosbacher/Gartrell Center for Media Experimentation and Activism, the college set its goals even higher - LEED Platinum certification. More than 40 sustainable features were incorporated into the design of the residence halls, including a green roof, solar panels, permeable paving, and a graywater system to collect and treat water to be used for irrigation. The project was a way to celebrate rainfall, sustainability and create a seamless transition to the Outback portion of the campus.
Contech helped the college meet its goal by providing two stormwater infiltration systems to capture runoff, storing the water during a storm until it can be slowly released into the surrounding native soil and recharging the aquifer. Both systems use 60" diameter aluminized type 2 perforated CMP. The first system uses 197 linear feet of CMP to store 5,684 cubic feet of runoff while the second system uses 126 linear feet to store 9,400 cubic feet of runoff. The two systems were enclosed in a non-woven geotextile to prevent clogging of the perforations.
“This was beyond green design. There was no storm drain infrastructure on site; the underground detention was necessary for the project to move forward,” said Omar Maciel, Engineer at KPFF. Infiltration is a common Low Impact Development (LID) practice. By utilizing subsurface infiltration, space is preserved for development, runoff is reduced or eliminated and groundwater recharge can occur. Contech CMP infiltration systems can be sized and shaped to meet site-specific needs, and are available fully or partially perforated. CMP detention and infiltration systems are available in all AASHTO M 36 types, with various coatings to achieve 75-100 year design service life.
In 2012, Phase II of the project earned LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council.