Two O.C. Campuses Showcase Durable Design

By Guest Blogger, Winston Bao, LEED AP

Have you ever thought about how much your campus is like a model of a city? From libraries to academic, recreational, performing arts, food service and administrative buildings, they are very civic in nature. Just on a smaller scale.

No city, or campus for that matter, is complete without its law enforcement facilities. Campus Police Stations also have the opportunity to connect the architectural language and fabric of your campus. They're buildings with a very public purpose and must function on the level of an actual police department.


The University Police Department at CSU Fullerton went from outdated portables to a new, 12,000-square-foot facility. Programs and amenities include:

  • Administrative offices and meeting rooms
  • Report writing rooms
  • Showers, lockers and changing rooms
  • Detention rooms in compliance with the requirements for law enforcement
  • Evidence room and armory
  • Dispatch Center with every new technology for monitoring the campus
  • Emergency Operation Center (EOC), which in the event of an emergency, converts into a command center that operates independently of the University.

Campus police officers at work at CSU FullertonDurability is key. You'll want surfaces that can stand up to the wear and tear of gun belts, batons, and other gear, that will inevitably rub against your walls and finishes. Linoleum flooring is not only rapidly renewable, but friendly in terms of maintenance (i.e. soap, water and a mop). When guests from the community come for a parking pass or Live Scan fingerprinting, they enter into a space that is welcoming and bright and doesn't feel like a dreary detention facility.

Recycled steel and a floating V-shaped metal roof are durable, cost-effective and sustainable. Effective use of artificial lighting and direct/indirect daylight allow the building to glow, while clerestory windows, geometry and the ceiling plane are used as a reflector and daylight collector that maximize energy efficiency. Most, if not all, of the spaces have access to daylighting and views.

Irvine Valley College Police StationIRVINE VALLEY COLLEGE

A smaller version of the police station above, the IVC Campus Police building needed to stand out -and boost its presence next to a very utilitarian looking maintenance and operations warehouse. With a small budget, designers opted for a pre-fabricated building made unique by shaving off edges at an angle, exposing the structure, and creating little places where one side was open and the other, covered parking for police vehicles to dock and charge. Programmatically, this area was perfect for the Sally Port (a place to bring detainees in a private, more controlled environment).

Both of these buildings were designed as constant evolutions of each campus. They set new trends while acknowledging existing materials giving them a current, more relevant significance. Whether it was brick, glass, metal, or plaster, we used them deliberately in ways that were visually meaningful, functionally durable, and low or zero-maintenance.

To learn more about our design work at CSU Fullerton and Irvine Valley College, visit our Higher Education design portfolio. Winston Bao is an Associate and Interior Designer at California-based LPA Inc. He is a LEED Accredited Professional who has made sustainable design the focus of his career.

Click to receive Integrated Sustainable Design in your inbox