Chabot & Las Positas Community Colleges


Located in the Bay Area of Northern California, Chabot and Los Positas Community Colleges specialize in university transfers, technical training, continuing education, workforce development, contract education with local businesses, and cultural enrichment. Southland provided design services for energy efficient thermal ice storage central plants with chilled and hot water underground loop piping and distribution systems for both campuses.

The Chabot campus also includes three natural gas-fired high-efficiency hot water boilers, two 650-ton high-efficiency chillers with variable frequency drives (VFD), 36 ice storage tanks with 6,840 ton-hours of cooling, and two cooling towers with VFDs located in the new central plant yard. The Las Positas campus features a 3,600 square foot central utility plant with two 300-ton high-efficiency chillers with VFDs, 16 ice storage tanks with 3,040 ton-hours of cooling, and two natural gas-fired high-efficiency boilers with future capacity.


The Chabot-Las Positas Community College District began an initiative to have campuses focused on energy and carbon dioxide reduction, as well as have all new LEED certified buildings. With the initiative in mind, Southland designed the campuses specifically to address increasing energy costs. The design team provided a thermal ice storage system. The system generates ice at night during off-peak energy consumption hours and burns ice during peak hours. Allowing the ice to be used when peak cooling and energy consumption occurs, saves the district over $200,000 and 1.1 megawatts each year.

The central utility plant for both campuses is designed to eliminate the requirement to maintain decentralized mechanical equipment spread throughout the campuses. The water feeds through 60,000 linear feet of underground piping that connects to several buildings across the campuses. This design yields significantly less maintenance and operating costs. Southland added to the district’s civil and architectural cost savings by designing the central utility plant to be in a much smaller space than would be required for individual building systems.


Southland successfully completed this project and met the unique and specific requirements to satisfy the owner, students, staff, and faculty.

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