Creating a sense of place and arrival was critical to the success of the LEED Platinum PCC Newberg Center — the first building on the new 15-acre campus. The large, south-facing roof reinforces the central organizing spine and reaches beyond to create a large, sheltered entry — the front door to the campus. The spatial framework is articulated by five natural ventilation stacks.
Classrooms and an administrative suite flank the north side of the spine, while multipurpose classrooms to the south shift and rotate, opening the building to the community and forming the central commons, an inviting informal learning space that encourages students to hang out before and after class — a goal of PCC’s administration. Sliding glass walls between spaces create a dynamic flow of spaces for larger events. Frosted glass partitions share light between spaces, providing additional “whiteboards” throughout that, along with flexible furnishings, foster creative use of the building. A streamlined materials palette uses structural elements like the concrete slab and steel as the final finish. Finely tuned skylight and ceiling configurations provide even daylight and eliminate electric lighting during the day.
The LEED Platinum Newberg Center was designed to achieve net-zero energy use, using no more energy than can be produced on site. Sustainable strategies focused on creating a highly efficient envelope, maximizing passive strategies, utilizing efficient systems, and engaging the user. Through these gestures, we eliminated all mechanical cooling, except for the server closet, and nearly all ductwork. A 100-kW solar panel array supplies the remaining energy needs of the building.