Energy Efficiency

Since the Industrial Revolution, fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas have been our largest and most abundant source of energy. Unfortunately, they are non-renewable resources, while additionally some of the most polluting. As we transition to a renewable and clean-energy society, it is important that we strive to minimize the amount of energy we use.


Rec Center Wall

This building is built with over 96,000 hand laid Concrete Masonry Units (CMUs) or concrete blocks. These blocks provide thermal mass to keep the temperature inside the building from fluctuating.


Rec Center Roof
The roof is a light reflective color to reflect heat. During hot parts of the year, less energy is needed for cooling.

Cooling System

At night, mechanical louvers at ground level take in cool air from outside, and expel hot air through louvers near the roof. This is a natural way to ventilate and cool the building.

This Indirect-Direct Evaporative Cooling System (IDEC) is located in our locker rooms, fitness center, offices and both studios. The air brought in is 100% natural air that is brought inside and chilled and re-circulated.

A south-facing lobby and no west facing windows prevent excess heat in the building. Overhangs shade windows from high summer sun, but not the lower winter sun. South-facing windows save up to 60% of energy costs. Low-e glazing on all windows keeps a constant temperature inside the building by blocking heat, but allowing light to enter.

Rec Center OutdoorHydronic radiant floor heating uses tubes running below the floor to carry warm water from a boiler located within the building through the rest of the facility. Warm air rises from the floor to heat up the facility as the cooled water returns to the boiler to be reused.











Rec Center Wall

Many skylights and large windows, like the large one in the gym and the clerestories in the corridors, allow natural light to be used. This is the most energy efficient way to light any space.

Rec Center RoofPhotosensors turn lights on or off depending on available sunlight. The sensors maintain a desired light level as natural light fluctuates. They are located throughout the building, including many of our activity areas.

Occupancy sensors inside locker rooms, bathrooms, offices and storage spaces turn on and stay on when movement is detected. Only after the room has been vacated for a preset amount of time will the lights turn off. These sensors allow for energy to only be used when needed.


In addition, fluorescent light bulbs are used throughout the building.  Each light bulb uses about 75% less energy and lasts up to 10,000 hours longer than regular incandescent light bulbs. This type of lighting saves on both money and energy.



Rec Center Solar Panels

In the summer of 2007, the Recreation Center finished building Phase I of its solar array. This installment added 48 kilowatts of solar panels on the roof of the Everest Gym. Rebates from the California Public Utilities helped offset about a third of the cost of the project. There is room for a Phase II installment of approximately 70 kilowatts more, once monies have been identified.