As part of a Tri-Party IPD Agreement with Caltech and MATT Construction, ZGF designed the new Bechtel Residence with the goal of creating an on-campus living experience that retains the critical elements of Caltech’s communal housing culture, while also presenting a new paradigm for the Institute’s student residences. Firmly rooted in the surrounding landscape, the 105,000 SF building wraps around the site, modulating its scale in response to varying edge conditions and creating a protected central courtyard that forms an outdoor living room to encourage interaction. The three-story, 223-bed residence reflects a “home away from home” approach with student bedrooms organized into suites of four to 12 with shared restrooms and living spaces. In addition, a variety of communal spaces including kitchens, common lounge areas and study rooms of different sizes, and a dining facility are provided to build a sense of community.
Registered with the certification goal of LEED Platinum® and targeting net-zero energy, the Bechtel Residence is a deceptively sophisticated building with cutting-edge sustainability solutions seamlessly integrated into the design. Hidden from view, rooftop photovoltaic panels generate enough energy on site to power the building. Various measures have been taken to minimize solar heat gain, which, coupled with the use of active chilled beams for interior climate control, have contributed significantly to a reduction in baseline energy needs. With a view to future innovations, the building is also net-zero water-ready, with piping and systems in place for such time as the campus implements a water reuse system.