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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2008 awards



Entry number: COL08010
Project Name: University of Phoenix Riverpoint Center
Building Type: Educational
Completion Date: N/A
Architect: Carpenter Sellers Associates
Building Location: I-10 & 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85085

Design Team:
Electrical Engineer: SmithGroup
Landscape Architect: Laskin & Associates
General Contractor: Sundt Construction
Structural Engineer: Caruso Turley Scott
Civil Engineer: Dibble & Assoiates
Interior Designer: Carpenter Sellers Associates
Photographer: Bill Timmerman

Project Description:
Project ID#: COL08010
Entry/project: University of Phoenix Riverpoint Center
Project category: collaboration
Type of project: corporate campus
Completion date: core & shell 10/07, interiors 1/08
Type of construction: type I
Materials used: glass, steel, stone, copper, concrete
Building area: 37 acre campus with one, 10-story building and two, 6-story buildings totaling 630,000 sf with two structured parking garages and surface parking for 4,600 vehicles

Statement of Design Approach:
To provide the Apollo Group (University of Phoenix) with a campus that reflects the regionalism of the area while providing a corporate identity that goes beyond their signage. The overall design concepts pay tribute to the region while showcasing the Apollo Group as a corporation designed to meet the needs of the future and one that is a model for 21st century education. Maximizing the buildable area on the site while providing a public space for social interaction was an important request. Riverpoint Center is located at I-10 & 32nd Street in Phoenix, Arizona. The University of Phoenix on-line campus and corporate headquarters building design was meant to be uniquely regional in the response to the desert southwest incorporating natural materials of stone, copper, glass, concrete and steel. The goal was to control the sun and maximize the daylight back into the building.

The buildings were elongated along the east/west axis maximizing the north and south exposures, providing natural daylight into the open office spaces to help reduce energy consumption and provide for a healthier work environment. Each building facade was designed to respond to its own exposure: shading on the west and east side is provided by narrow, deep set windows; horizontal metal shade fins were utilized on the southern exposure to control the harsh southern light.

An under floor air distribution system was utilized to allow for better environmental control of each work space while reducing energy costs. Indirect lighting was utilized throughout the open office system creating a better working environment. This system reduces glare, is cost efficient and reduces the number of light fixtures required. Water was introduced at the lower level exterior dining area in combination with groves of trees to create a cooler microclimate and to help mitigate the adjacent freeway noise. The Apollo Group is a technology driven company and the design of these buildings reflect this technology.


Sustainable description:

  • Riverpoint has an approximate 3:1 ratio of North/South to East/West exposure.
  • The East and West exposures are provided with narrow vertical windows and small apertures that allow views but minimize the amount of exposure to the low sun. Glazing was maximized on the southern exposure but protected with horizontal shading devices that shield the glass from the direct high summer sun while allowing the low winter sun to heat the building. North side window area is maximized to provide daylight.
  • Due to orientation and proper consideration of the fenestration on the building, daylighting is maximized in the building. Virtually every occupant in the building has access to daylight and views. It is anticipated that the occupants of the building will not need to rely on artificial light at all times, due to the controlled sun light that will be available within the space.
  • This provides every occupant with the ability to control their own thermal comfort. Supply air is introduced from ground surface via a small underground plenum, therefore placing the air directly where it is needed at the user. Heating is provided along the perimeter by the under floor air units, which also maximizes efficiency. The under floor plenum significantly reduces the amount of ductwork that is needed to serve the space. The plenum is also used to run line and low voltage cabling, which reduces the need for conduit. The overall height of the building is also reduced due to the reduced floor to floor requirements through the elimination of duct-work, which reduces the materials required for construction.
  • Many of the materials specified are manufactured or extracted in this region.
  • High performance insulated glass is used around the entire structure.
  • The amount of paving in direct exposure to the sun is reduced by the use of covered parking structures in lieu of asphalt surface parking lots.
  • The plant material utilized on this project is appropriate for the desert and minimizes irrigation.
  • All storm water is collected and retained on site, this minimizes erosion and sediment run-off.
  • When possible, materials with high recycled content were specified and installed in the project. Gabions were built with existing site river rocks.
  • Energy efficient T-5 light fixtures are used throughout office buildings that provide 33% energy savings over standard 18 cell 3-lamp parabolic fixtures. In the parking structures a highly efficient fixture was utilized that reduces the number of overall fixtures required. The site area utilized full cut-off light fixtures, which reduces light trespass and optimizes efficiency of each fixture.
  • Lighting Controls which meet ASHRAE 90.1 requirements were specified.
  • Low-flow fixtures are provided in all toilet rooms.
  • These unit utilize direct evaporative cooling of the relief air to provide indirect cooling for the incoming outside air. During dry summer conditions, 2/3 of the cooling required for the outside air is by the recovery coil, with the balance by the chilled water system. It should also be noted that the outside air units utilize high efficiency motors.
  • The chilled water system is a variable primary system in which the chill``ed water pumps modulate based on demand. The base design consisted of water-cooled screw chillers, a heat exchanger for free cooling, and cooling towers. The chilled water system also utilizes two-way control valves to minimize flow.
  • Both the pumps and the air-handling units utilize high efficiency motors. Second, the air-handling units utilize variable speed drives to meet cooling load. Third, the outside air units provide positive, conditioned outside air.




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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:05 PST