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Los Angeles Pierce M&O Building

California's first near net-zero facility using design-build


Higher Education


Woodland Hills, California




Pierce College is one of nine two-year public institutions within the Los Angeles Community College District. Founded in 1947 as an agricultural college, Pierce has grown into a state-of-the-art learning center that offers 100 disciplines to more than 21,000 students.

Pierce College is California's first permitted near net-zero facility using the design-build method.

In collaboration with the Los Angeles Community College District, gkkworks, and Cupertino Electric, Southland helped design and build a new 42,000 square foot maintenance and operations (M&O) facility that houses everything from electrical and plumbing to offices and administrative areas. The project also included a new central energy plant that serves the M&O facility.

Our Approach

Our team designed and constructed the renewable energy component of the central plant using a solar thermal system that features 4,800 individual evacuated tube collectors installed on the M&O facility's roof.

We selected solar absorption chillers to heat and cool buildings through solar energy. While the system powers the facility's cooling and heating demands, our team installed two 2,000 MBH boilers to serve as backups for the solar thermal system in case additional energy is needed.


The project achieved LEED Gold certification and won the Energy Efficiency Partnership Programs Best Practice Award in 2010 for its substantial energy and CO2 savings.


  • Successful Partnerships

    Owner: Los Angeles Community College District
    GC: gkkworks
    Architect: gkkworks

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