Diamond X Ranch Student Intern Center at Santa Monica National Recreation Area

General Information

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Project Information

The dorm, formally known as the Student Intern Center, is a 3,200 square-foot facility heated and cooled by a ground-source heat pump system, one of the most environmentally-efficient ways to provide space heating and cooling. A series of flexible piping loops are buried eight-feet deep, and use the ground's relatively constant 50-degree temperature for heating and cooling. In addition, solar panels on the roof provide hot water, and energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps were used throughout the facility.

A grid-tied 35 kW photo-voltaic system provides 100 percent of the energy needs for the dorm each year, as well as surplus energy for a nearby maintenance office. The facility provides critical housing for researchers and interns working at the park.

In November of 2007, a wildfire destroyed 5,651 square feet of building space in Malibu's Solstice Canyon, including the original Student Intern Center. Through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, the facility was rebuilt near the intersection of Mulholland and Las Virgenes Road, in an area known as Diamond X Ranch. By consolidating activities into a smaller building footprint and relocating the facility into an area that is safer from fire damage, the park significantly reduced construction, maintenance and operational costs.

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