CSUN’s Rec Center Receives $200,000 Rebate from LADWP for Saving Energy

CSUN's Student Recreation Center. Photo by Lee Choo

CSUN’s Student Recreation Center. Photo by Lee Choo

The energy-saving features of California State University, Northridge’s Student Recreation Center have earned the facility a rebate from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

LADWP representatives will present CSUN’s University Student Union’s board of directors with a check for $226,225.80, specifically for the way university officials incorporated the use of rooftop solar tubes and photovoltaic panels into the design of the year-old recreation center. The check presentation is slated for 12:45 p.m. on Monday, April 15, during the board’s meeting in the Grand Salon of the student union on the west side of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

“This rebate exhibits the dedication to designing and constructing the Student Recreation Center with a focus on sustainability,” said the center’s director, Jimmy Francis. “The strategic approach to energy and utility management of the center is a credit to all those who were involved in the project.”

The LADWP Solar Incentive Program offers customers rebates for purchasing and installing solar panels. University officials applied for the program in 2010, and LADWP officials inspected the building in 2011. The facility opened in January 2012.

The Student Recreation Center was built with the idea of promoting health and wellness among students and the broader CSUN community. Students, who had input on its design, and university officials also were determined that the facility would be an environmentally friendly building.

The two-story center’s construction incorporates dozens of rooftop Solatubes so that traditional lighting is not used as frequently as in conventionally built buildings. As the sun moves across the sky, the Solatubes pick up the natural light and diffuse it back into the facility, helping to illuminate the mezzanine level of the center. Additionally, the solar panels convert light from the sun into clean electricity.

“Seeking any way to reduce the negative environmental footprint of your facility is the responsible route to take in this new era of facility development,” Francis said. “This is especially true in an era where we are more conscious of sustainable building practices.”

CSUN’s Student Recreation Center received a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold status, which is an international rating method that provides standards for environmentally conscious buildings and facilities, in October of last year.