Pomona Hall and Sontag Hall, the College's "green" residence halls, were chosen as one of seven Grand Winners in the 2013 Builder's Choice and Custom Home Design Awards for cutting-edge, inspired projects, by a jury of builders and architects. The winners were announced in the October 2013 issue of Builder Magazine.

To be considered for the award, projects needed to be "inspired examples of smart land strategies, high-performance building, thoughtful planning, good environmental stewardship, and successful indoor-outdoor flow."

Opened in 2011, Pomona Hall and Sontag Halls were the first large-scale residence project in California to earn LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The residence halls are home to approximately 150 students in suite-style apartments. Among other features, the buildings take advantage of natural light with 95% of the regularly occupied living spaces having a window to the outdoors. A large common room and kitchen on each floor foster interaction among the residents. A solar hot water system, solar panels and high-efficiency window glazing are among the systems that make the project more sustainable than traditional building methods.

According to an article about the awards in Builder Magazine, "the judges were wowed by the many sustainable features packed into the project, which… include rainwater reuse and retention, low-VOC paints and adhesives, bike storage and drought-resistant landscaping…. 'They nailed the major green components and they did it in a really cool way,'" the panel said.

Pomona Hall and Sontag Hall were designed by Ehrlich Architects, which met weekly with a group of students, staff and administrators. The project was managed by Pomona's Office of Facilities and Campus Services.

Earlier this year, the residence halls received the 2013 Green Good Design award by the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, as well as recognition from the Los Angeles Business Journal.

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