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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Colorado Court in Santa Monica, California by Brooks + Scarpa Architects

March 9th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Brooks + Scarpa Architects

Colorado Court
is 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 day lighting; 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

  • Architects: Brooks + Scarpa Architects
  • Project: Colorado Court
  • Location: 502 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California, USA
  • Client/Owner: Community Corporation of Santa Monica
  • Total Square Footage: 30,150 square feet
  • Designed: 2000
  • Completed: 2002
  • Cost: $5,200,000.00(US)

Colorado Court

  • Awards: 2003 National AIA Design Award, 2003 AIACC Award, 2003 AIA/LA Award, 2003 Rudy Bruner Prize, 2003 World Habitat Award Finalist, 2003 AIA COTE “Top Ten Green Building” Award, 2003 AIA PIA National Housing Award, SCANPH “Project of the Year”, 2002 Westside Urban Prize, LEEDTM “Gold” Certified. Published in over 100 journals and books.
  • Project Team: Lawrence Scarpa, AIA – Principal- in-Charge, Angela Brooks, AIA – Project Architect, Gwynne Pugh, AIA, Anne Marie Burke, Heather Duncan, Vanessa Hardy, Bettina Hermsen, Tim Peterson, Ching Luk, Jackson Butler, Steve Kodama, FAIA
  • Project Energy Engineer: Dr. John G. Ingersoll of Helios International Inc.– Energy Efficiency Measures, and Distributed Power Generation – Solar PV Power and Co-Generation – for Sustainable Development in the Built Environment.
  • Structural Engineering: Youssef Associates}
  • Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Engineering: Storms and Lowe


Colorado Court


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

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 generate the base electrical load and hot water demands for the building and a solar electric panel system integrated into the façade and roof of the building that supply most of the peak load electricity demand. The co-generation system converts utility natural gas to electricity to meet the base load power needs of the building and captures waste heat to produce hot water for the building throughout the year as well as space heating needs in the winter. This system has a conversion efficiency of natural gas in excess of 85% compared to a less than 30% conversion efficiency of primary energy delivered by the utility grid at the building site. The solar photovoltaic system produces 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 is 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.


Colorado Court

Construction Materials include:

**Most materials exceed the City of Santa Monica Standards for Sustainable building and comply with the U.S. Green Council Building Standards

  • Concrete Masonry Unit: structural walls @ ground level
  • Building Wall Insulation System: Walls meet R23 value- plaster finish with blown-in recycled insulation.
  • Roofing/Insulation System: High density foam insulation and high performance SBS modified bitumen membrane roofing
  • State-of-the-art solar photovoltaic integrated wall panel system
  • Glazing: High Efficiency Dual Glazing (“low-e”)

Exterior Finishes: Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) face block, recycled light gauge steel, galvanized sheet metal

Colorado Court

Colorado Court

Colorado Court

Colorado Court

Colorado Court


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Category: Government Building

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