The University of California Irvine Contemporary Arts building houses UCI’s art gallery, black-box theater, graduate student art studios, faculty offices, and classrooms. This Ehrlich Architects-designed beauty incorporates both cutting-edge technology and time-tested passive design features to provide UCI students and staff with an inspiring and dynamic space that helps to inspire creativity. The Brummitt team provided whole building predictive energy modeling and supported the natural ventilation design of this LEED Platinum project.
LEED was a natural fit for this project that earned Brummitt its 24th Platinum-certified project! The energy efficiency and renewable energy points documented by the Brummitt team accounted for 25% of the total LEED points required to achieve Platinum.
Some high-tech features include: Chilled water provided by UCI’s next-generation campus co-generation plant, thermal envelope optimized through extensive energy modeling, and high efficiency interior and exterior lighting systems with automatic controls.
More interesting are the passive design features: the University and design team decided that this building was a prime candidate for natural ventilation. Through a simple system that uses fan assist when needed, most perimeter spaces are able to take advantage of the mild Irvine climate to provide comfort and ventilation indoors. Operable windows are integrated well into the modern design. The building truly comes to life when its naturally ventilated.
The Contemporary Arts building is a study in daylight design. Minute details of the vertical fins and perforated screens were evaluated; countless iterations of shading features were assessed before the design was finalized. The result is a beautiful, customized, effective shading system that allows for maximum daylight with minimal unintended glare. The building shading features are now part of the defining visual appearance of this attractive building.