Energy Efficiency

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.

The Indirect-Direct Evaporative Cooling System (IDEC) is located in the locker rooms, fitness center, offices and both studios. The air is 100% outside air which is brought inside, 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 Outdoor

Hydronic radiant floor heating has tubes running under the floor throughout the building that carry warm water from a boiler located within the building. Warm air rises to heat up the room as the cooled off water returns to the boiler to be reused.


Many skylights, 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 Lighting   Rec Center Lighting

Photosensors turn on, or turn off lights depending on available sunlight. The sensors maintain a desired light level as natural light fluctuates. These sensors are located throughout the building, including many of our activity areas.
Occupancy sensors inside locker rooms, bathrooms, offices and storage 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 will allow for energy to only be used when needed.
There are fluorescent light bulbs located 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 cost and electricity.

Rec Center Solar Panels


In the summer of 2007, the Rec Center building finished construction with a Phase I installment of 48 kilowatts of solar panels on the Everest Gym roof. Rebates from the California Public Utilities helped offset about 1/3 of the total cost. There is room for a Phase II installment of approximately 70 kw once monies have been identified.