ArchSIM Case Studies: La Maestra Clinic Teaches Sustainability, Inside and Out

March 9, 2010
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La Maestra Community Health Centers is an award-winning not-for- profit organization that has been serving low-income and immigrant communities for 19 years. In Spanish, La Maestra means "the teacher" and in addition to teaching visitors about healthy living their newest community health clinic in the City Heights region of San Diego will also teach patients and visitors about a variety of green building technologies. The project includes a variety of energy efficiency features that are projected to exceed 2005 Title 24 requirements by more than 20%.

About half of the building is dedicated to medical uses such as patient examination and treatment rooms. Such spaces are subject to stringent ventilation and exhaust requirements to ensure good indoor air quality. These requirements were the primary driver for the initial HVAC system design, a large constant-volume system that would provide the desired air quality but with a significant energy efficiency penalty due to the large amount of fan energy. The preliminary energy model concluded that the project would exceed Title 24 requirements by only 4.3%, despite the fact that the building includes numerous energy efficiency features.

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