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Colorado Court Project

Location of Project: 502 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California Client/Owner: Community Corporation of Santa Monica
Total Square Footage: 30,150sf
Costs: $4,200,000.00
Architects: PUGH SCARPA KODAMA
Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave, F1, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Project Team: Lawrence Scarpa - Principal- in-Charge, Tim Peterson, Angela Brooks - Project Architects, Peter Borrego, Gwynne Pugh , Anne Marie Kaufman-Brunner, Anne Marie Burke, Nicole Cannon, Kelly Bair, Byron Merritt, Heather Duncan, Vanessa Hardy, Bettina Hermsen, Franco Rosete, Ching Luk, Joerg Niderehe, Sascha Engelhoven, Bill Sarnecky, Jae Kim, Jackson Butler, Sabine Kainze, Charlie Morgan, Steve Kodama

Project Energy Engineer: Dr. John G. Ingersoll of Helios International Inc.
Structural Engineering:
Youssef Associates Mechanical
Electrical Plumbing Engineering: Storms and Lowe


Program: The program for this single resident occupancy housing project includes:

  • 44 single resident occupancy units (375 square feet max per unit)
  • Community Room
  • Mail Room
  • Outdoor common courtyard spaces @ ground level and 2nd level
  • On-grade covered parking for 20 cars
  • Bike Storage

Colorado Court will be one of the first buildings of its type in the United States that is 100% energy independent. Colorado Court distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy. The planning and design of Colorado Court emerged from close consideration and employment of passive solar design strategies. These strategies include: locating and orienting the building to control solar cooling loads; shaping and orienting the building for exposure to prevailing winds; shaping the building to induce buoyancy for natural ventilation; designing windows to maximize daylighting; shading south facing windows and minimizing west-facing glazing; designing windows to maximize natural ventilation; shaping and planning the interior to enhance daylight and natural air flow distribution.

Colorado Court features several state of the art technologies that distinguish it as a model demonstration building of sustainable energy supply and utilization. These technologies include a natural gas powered turbine/heat recovery system that will generate the base electrical load and hot water demands for the building and a solar electric panel system integrated into the fašade and roof of the building that will supply most of the peak load electricity demand. The co-generation system will convert utility natural gas to electricity to meet the base load power needs of the building and will capture waste heat to produce hot water for the building throughout the year as well as space heating needs in the winter. This system will have a conversion efficiency of natural gas in excess of 70% compared to a less than 30% conversion efficiency of primary energy delivered by the utility grid at the building site. The solar photovoltaic system will produce green electricity at the building site that releases no pollutants to the environment. The panels are integral to the building envelope and unused solar electricity will be delivered to the grid during the daytime and retrieved from the grid at night as needed. These systems will pay for themselves in less than ten years and annual savings in electricity and natural gas bills are estimated to be in excess of $6000. Recipient of "The Westside Prize" presented by the westside urban forum.

Project Funding
This project was funded by:
The City of Santa Monica
State of California, Housing and Community Development
Regional Energy Efficiency Initiative
Affordable Housing Program
Bank of America



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