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COC students to present sustainable design projects

Posted: December 8, 2009 3:07 p.m.
Updated: December 9, 2009 2:58 p.m.
As the culmination to a semester-long assignment, this month a group of College of the Canyons architecture and interior design students will present sustainable design projects based on the hypothetical need for a new regional transit center in Santa Clarita.

The assignments were part of the college's Architecture 200: Sustainable Development and Environmental Design course and its accompanying laboratory requirement.

As part of the project, students were asked to submit a hypothetical design entry for a regional transit center in Castaic Junction - the area around the intersection of Interstate 5 and Route 126 - which would serve as a key component to supporting future public transit connections between Santa Clarita and Ventura County and foster the region's future growth through sustainable means.

Students were required to incorporate a number of specific architectural elements into the design including: a Metrolink platform area, transit bus turnaround, parking lots and bicycle spaces, interior support areas with a public business center and day care facility and the incorporation of a public art element.

In addition, students were encouraged to minimize the development footprint of their project by designing a compact building area and incorporating sustainable or recycled building materials as a means of reducing the project's environmental impact. The designs were also required to integrate means for generating at least 50 percent of the facility's power needs through on-site renewable energy sources.

"These students have spent the last six months learning about sustainable design technologies and the LEED Rating System," explained Jason Oliver, instructor of the college's Architecture 200 course. "During the design studio portion of the course, students had the unique opportunity to apply that knowledge toward solving architectural problems related to real-world issues such as public transit."

Assisting students in the design process was a $3,000 donation by Lockheed Martin to the college's Interdisciplinary Sustainable Development Committee.

Aside from providing students with the materials needed to create their designs, the donated funds will also be used to develop a Website which will highlight the sustainable design strategies explored in the student projects and raise awareness about how sustainable designs can benefit future development throughout the region.

Students from the college's Architecture 200 course will be presenting their designs at a public viewing from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12, in Mentry Hall room 227, on the college's Valencia campus. Interested community members are welcome to attend.

Accompanying each submission will be a number of required design exhibits including an overall site development plan and ground level plan, building section drawings highlighting the project's critical sustainable design features, a physical 3-D project model and design sketches encompassing the various phases of the project.

"College of the Canyons is committed to making these types of student projects as visible and open to the public as possible because of the importance of the topics being explored," Oliver said. "With such a widespread collective interest in making our communities more sustainable, we encourage everyone to come see the creative solutions these students have generated."

This story is posted in The Signal's SCV Raw section. Click here for more information about SCV Raw.


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