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A Research Building That Relies on Fans and Natural Ventilation

    The Coastal Biology Building in Santa Cruz, Calif., brings together faculty and staff to support research and teaching on ecology and evolutionary biology. The LEED Gold Certified building is set on a 97-acre site with easy access to wetlands and other important natural habitats for field- based learning. The client, the University of California, Santa Cruz worked with architect EHDD to deliver world-class facilities for marine and ocean health research located near the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

    The HVAC systems for many spaces in the building, including the main lecture hall, function without compressive cooling. An integrated facade strategy uses electrochromic glazing, operable windows, and easy-to-operate ceiling fans to ensure above-average occupant comfort in warmer temperatures in summer. The success of the strategy is reflected in the building earning a perfect score in the LEED Indoor Environmental Quality category.