Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

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Architect Zimmer Gunsul Frasca
Location Santa Barbara, California
Date 1999 to 2002
Building Type academic laboratory and classroom
 Construction System concrete and steel frame
 Sustainability LEED Platinum, with active energy efficiency, daylighting, shading, high recycled content materials, 42KW photovoltaics - GEEB
Climate mild temperate
Context suburban campus oceanside waterfront
Style Neovernacular
Notes "The Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management"

Trellised outdoor circulation

Building courtyard

Rooftop photovoltaic panels

Student workroom and lounge

Auditorium interior

Building interpretive display

Small office with operable window

Operable transom at office doorway

Occupancy sensor in small office

Ceiling mounted sensor in shared space for lighting modulation

Furnishing for social use in building courtyard

Sensor-controlled lighting in public hallway

Mechanical room

Mechanical room

Courtyard Panorama
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Draft renderings of the GEEB project 3D model:
Aerial overview, draft
Eye-level overivew, draft
Facade view, draft
Perspective, draft
Discussion Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management Commentary

The Donald Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara takes advantage of a beautiful setting near the Pacific Ocean to become a green building that embraces its environment not only for efficiency, but for experience. With a striking open courtyard, it provides ample opportunity for social interaction that makes the transition between indoors and outdoors much smoother and ephemeral than most buildings.

The Bren School also utilizes daylighting to harness natural illumination in lieu of artificial lights while allowing views that further enhance the buildingšs connection to the landscape. And with operal windows and high-tech senors connected to adjacent heating units, the Bren School smartly takes advantage of Santa Barbarašs famously moderate climate. Itšs a campus building as charming and memorable as the city to which it belongs.

Building Bren Hall with sustainable materials and methods is estimated to have added only 2% to the building cost, which will easily be offset over time by energy savings.

"To ensure efficient use of energy, the building was designed to harvest natural light, heating, and cooling. Facing the ocean, the office wing has no air conditioning and instead relies on flow-through ventilation with operable windows and transoms. Daylight harvesting is coupled with a lighting plan that incorporates energy-efficient fixtures and bulbs along with controls for motion and ambient light."
— Donald Bren School

"LEED was instrumental in providing structure for the research effort as well as a means to measure results."
— Design team, quoted at USGBC LEED certification report


LEED Certified Platinum

Four stories, 84,672 total gross square feet
25,246 square feet of classrooms, offices, and conference rooms
21,058 square feet of laboratory space
2.9 acre site area
Nominal occupancy, 239 people

Total construction cost of $26 million

Address: UCSB campus, Santa Barbara, California
4670 Physical Sciences North, Santa Barbara, CA 93106

Design Team

Architect Zimmer Gunsul Frasca
Mechanical Engineer Flak & Kurtz

3D Model
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Resources Sources on Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

"LEED Platinum at UCSB", by ArchitectureWeek, ArchitectureWeek No. 150, 2003.0611, p1.

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Web Resources Links on Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management

Donald Bren Schoolat Archiplanet

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