Poly Canyon Village (PCV) was recognized as the “Best New Development: On-Campus” by the Student Housing Business Magazine April 13 at a conference held in Texas.
The award was one of several Innovator Awards presented by the magazine and was given to Niles Bolton Associates, the architectural design firm behind Cal Poly’s newest addition to student housing.
Ed Palmer of Niles Bolton Associates said at the time it was being built that PCV was the largest student housing project in the U.S.
“It’s a large development, and it was completed on a tight budget in a short period of time,” Palmer said. “I think all those things contributed to making it an important development. It’s also quite attractive, don’t you think?”
The 2,700 students living in PCV are also residing in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certified building. This certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, means Poly Canyon is part of a system of green buildings that use less energy, which saves money for families, businesses and taxpayers.
LEED Gold Certified buildings also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for community members.
“Because of (the time constraints and project size), the fact that it achieved LEED Gold status is quite significant,” Palmer said.
The level of PCV’s sustainable design earned it a “Gold Level” certification on the LEED scale, said Joel Neel, associate director of Cal Poly Facilities Planning and Capital Projects.
There are four levels of certification: certified, silver, gold and platinum. The only other LEED certified building on campus is Faculty Offices East, which is LEED Silver Certified, Neel said.
Although only two buildings on campus are LEED certified, the buildings account for a considerable portion of campus space.
“Poly Canyon is large enough that about 25 percent of the square footage of campus is LEED certified,” Neel said.
Today, more than 40,000 projects are currently working under LEED rating requirements. This adds up to comprise almost 8 billion square feet of construction space in the U.S. and 117 other countries.
Aside from small changes that may occur, Neel said PCV is generally complete and will not be expanded or changed anytime in the future.
Neel said the convenience of its location is part of the appeal of PCV, along with the retail options placed just steps away from the student rooms.
“It has that nice retail component,” Neel said. “It was built with the amenities that students were asking for.”
Former PCV resident and environmental management senior Scott Hellesen said he was not aware of the LEED Gold Certification or sustainability level of his previous place of residence, but said living there had many benefits.
“It was nice having the market and food places so close by,” Hellesen said. “But my favorite part was the pool.”