Los Angeles Mission College


In 2011, Los Angeles Mission College embarked on one of the largest expansions in the institution’s history, increasing its footprint with a new 98,694 square foot structure. The East Campus Complex, as the project was named, would replace outdated spaces with state-of-the-art learning and administrative facilities and serve as a point of pride for the Los Angeles Community College District. It’s not only a place where students learn and gather, but is also a model of design excellence and sustainability.

Southland provided design-build HVAC and plumbing services for the East Campus Complex, which is comprised of high-tech laboratories, lecture halls and classrooms, communal gathering spaces and conference rooms, and administrative areas. The project also included a 5,300 square foot central utility plant.


As a fast-track design-build project, there was little room for error in the project timeline. All aspects of the mechanical infrastructure needed to be installed on time and correctly, according to the plan. To achieve this, Southland used 3D BIM modeling to coordinate the many moving parts, and the unique requirements of the lab space, which featured the following elements:

  • 31 fume hoods
  • 90 fast-acting venture valves
  • domestic hot and cold water
  • lab vacuum system
  • natural gas
  • emergency eye and shower stations
  • individual shutoff valves for safe operation.

Southland also ensured other details were integrated with the larger infrastructure, such as the water softeners for the autoclaves and the point-of-use deionized water stations in lab preparation rooms.

To make the building more energy efficient, Southland used standalone, direct expansion systems that run 24 hours per day and seven days per week in the data rooms and telecommunications spaces. Additionally, the HVAC system uses 100 percent outside air for the laboratories with heat recovery. To help support LEED Platinum design goals, the team also integrated a photovoltaic array.


By effectively employing sustainable approaches to construction and energy efficiency, Southland helped the project achieve Platinum LEED certification. The seamless integration of the many unique components of the East Campus Complex also means students in the San Fernando Valley are benefiting from first-in-class labs and learning spaces.

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