Pomona and Sontag halls
The North Campus Residence Hall project includes a variety of sustainability features, including solar power for both electricity and heating.

For the first time in over 15 years and since the development of the College's green building standards, Pomona has built a new residence hall. This means the first green-designed residence hall on campus! The new residence hall consists of two buildings with suite-style housing for 150 students, along with staff and faculty apartments, office spaces, common lounges and kitchens, space for On The Loose and Outdoor Adventure, and a variety of outdoor living spaces.

Building Features

Sustainability has been a driving force in the design and programming of this project, which features the following:


  • Flat screen panels in the building display real-time monitoring of energy use, water use, gas use, and the production of the solar units. This utility information is also displayed online.
  • Rooftop demonstration classroom provides space for studying solar technology.
  • While most planters in the rooftop garden are left for students to plant and grow their own materials, the College does plan to plant some citrus trees and grapevines.


  • Thick concrete walls with high efficiency glazing reduce solar heat gain and reduce heating and cooling. The wall R-Value is improved by use of insulated precast panels.
  • The operable windows in every suite include sensors to cut off air conditioning and heating if the window is open. Windows also have exterior shading (overhang and terra cotta screen).
  • Every bedroom has a 3-speed ceiling fan on HVAC systems and adjustable heat and air-conditioning.
  • Switch to control outlets in bedrooms to reduce phantom loads.
  • Shutoff of air conditioning during mild months.
  • All hallways and public spaces are equipped with motion detection and daylight sensors to activate and turn off lights.
  • Daylight is used for 90% of spaces and all lights are highly efficient fluorescent and LED fixtures.
  • To prevent light pollution, site lighting includes full cut off fixtures that direct light where it is needed- directly down and out, not up and sideways. Full cut-off fixtures direct light rays below the horizon of the fixture, preventing any light from being wasted upwards.
  • Electricity is provided 73% from grid, 11% from on-site solar, and 16% natural gas.
  • Students are disallowed from having mini-fridges in their bedrooms. Instead, a larger Energy Star energy-efficient refrigerator was installed in the common area of each suite.
  • PV Array- 81.725 System kW, 130,341 annual kWh output, 10 degree tilt at southern orientation, total annual costs savings $13,034, can produce 14% of building load.
  • Solar Thermal System- 18 116-gallon storage tanks, annual DHW Offset 2,855 therms, 35 degree tilt at southern orientation, total annual cost savings $2,855, can produce 80% of building load.
  • Heat island effect (non-roof): 170 below grade parking spots, paving materials with a Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) of greater than 29, pervious concrete at the fire lane off 6th St (by capturing storm water and allowing it to seep into the ground, porous concrete is instrumental in recharging groundwater and reducing storm water runoff).
  • Heat island effect (roof): roofing material has a SRI value greater than 29.
  • Enhanced building system commissioning ensures proper calibration.
  • Laundry drying racks in the laundry rooms


  • Storm water quantity management: project implements a storm water management plan that results in a 100% decrease (rate and quantity) in runoff from calculated pre-project conditions. This includes the Rainstore detention basin south of 6th Street in the Wash, sized at 31'x31'x4' deep with a capacity of 3,652 feet3, designed to infiltrate and store large amounts of storm water underground. All the water collected on site is taken to the detention basin in the wash to recharge to aquifer. By capturing storm water and allowing it to seep into the ground, porous concrete is instrumental in recharging groundwater and reducing storm water runoff. 100% of the precipitation that is not evaporated from the project site is routed through the FloGard LoPro Shallow Catch Basin Filter Insert and then routed to the Rainstore3.
  • Water efficient landscape includes irrigation and landscape materials, resulting in a 52% reduction of potable water use. Use of drought tolerant and native plants further reduces water.
  • Also a 36.6% water use reduction through the use of low-flow lavatories (1.5gpm), low-flow showers (1.5gpm), low-flow kitchen sinks (2.2gpm), and dual-flush toilets (1.1 and 1.6gpf).


  • Facilities include secured bicycle storage areas – Sontag hall garage, Building B by OEC and bike corral area off plaza.
  • Low emitting and fuel-efficient vehicle preferred parking is near entrance in the parking garage.
    Construction created the minimum number of newest parking spots allowed by local code.


  • A trash and recycling room can be found on each floor.
  • More than 95% of construction waste was diverted.

Land Use

  • Rooftop garden incorporates edible landscaping and other edible landscaping was planted throughout the site.
  • The building maximizes open space with 72,658 feet2 dedicated to open space, 31,000 feet2 of the building footprint has been provided adjacent to the building.
  • Eight large oak trees (60”-144” box) were boxed, held and incorporated into the new landscape plan. They can be seen in the area behind Clark 1 and the hammock garden.


  • A comprehensive green cleaning program in line with the College's green cleaning standards
  • Recycled content is around 20%.
  • Regional materials are around 30%.
  • Doors, door trim, millwork, ceiling finish, shoring, plywood in walls, base trim, wood sills, roof garden trellis, roof garden planters, and pergola all have FCS Certification.
  • Construction used low VOC products including silicone building sealants, acrylic latex caulking compound, tile mortar, linoleum tile adhesive, tack tile connectors, cove base adhesives, and paints.  The complete list is still in the process of compilation.
  • Innovative materials used in the buildings include recycled glass bottles in kitchen counters, other counters made out of recycled milk jugs and industrial-strength compressed cardboard materials, recycled content in carpets, tack boards, and more.