Sunnylands Estate Integrates Traditional & Modern Sustainability Aims with New Educational Facility

In the tradition of Sunnylands' original forward-thinking design, a 17,000 square-foot meeting and reception facility was recently constructed on the property to meet modern green building standards. The new facility features a geoexchange heating/cooling system with heat pumps from ClimateMaster.

OKLAHOMA CITY, November 14, 2012 – When publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg and his wife Lenore commissioned renowned architect A. Quincy Jones to design them a midcentury modern residence in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the couple was unknowingly laying the groundwork for more than just a signature estate. Built in 1966, the 25,000 square-foot home and surrounding 200-acre property in the heart of the Coachella Valley, known as Sunnylands, has since become an entrusted public venue for use to "address serious issues facing the nation and the world community."

In the tradition of Sunnylands' original forward-thinking design, which pays homage to the natural environment in a variety of ways, a 17,000 square-foot meeting and reception facility was recently constructed on the property to meet modern green building standards. The new Sunnylands Center & Gardens includes a 47-seat theater, 85-person multi-function room and 250-person common area, all of which have been designed to accommodate a variety of mission-focused retreats as outlined by the Annenburg Foundation Trust. Open for public tours, the center also features educational and hands-on learning opportunities focused on the history of the estate, as well as those related to modern sustainability practices.

The building was designed to meet requirements for LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, which was officially secured from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 2011. A white reflective R-38 insulated roof, eight-inch R-21 insulated walls (made of recycled shredded denim) and numerous passive solar elements all contribute to the highly energy-efficient performance of the building, which is especially key when considering the fluctuating temperatures of the surrounding desert region. Additionally, the building was designed to operate on 100-percent renewable energy sources, including a 545-panel, 125 kW photovoltaic array and a 78-ton geothermal-driven HVAC system.

Featuring 13 ClimateMaster Tranquility® Large Vertical (TLV) Series and Tranquility® 20 Single-Stage Vertical (TSV) Series water-source heat pump units, the geothermal system provides an ideal means for tempering indoor air despite the severe outdoor temperatures customary in the Coachella Valley region. Capitalizing on the earth's consistent 76°C ground temperature, the building's geothermal system circulates fluid through HDPE pipe installed in an underground three-acre field of 96 396-foot closed-loop boreholes. The ClimateMaster units work to deliver heating and cooling needs from the field to the building as part of the overall demand-based, variable flow HVAC system design. Incorporating patented ClimaDry® technology, the ClimateMaster units also provide automatically adjusting dehumidification, ensuring both optimal indoor comfort and the security of priceless works of art on display in the center.

The geothermal heat pump units are housed along with a bank of distribution manifolds and circulators in an underground vault located approximately 100 feet from the building. The vault was constructed as an off-site mechanical room for the new building in order to maintain its open, airy feel. In addition to the mechanical systems, the vault accommodates pumps and filters for two large outdoor garden fountains.

Officially open as of March 1, 2012, the new Sunnylands Center & Gardens, which also includes nine acres of grounds featuring walking paths and more than 53,000 carefully selected plants, exhibits modern environmental stewardship across its design, use of renewable energy, water conservation, and recycling and composting programs. The center's "Green Vision" statement underscores the organization's aim to address and improve issues on a global scale, affirming that "Sharing our environmental experiences with the public broadens the impact of our actions."

ClimateMaster, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of geothermal and water-source heat pumps, which are considered to be the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly type of heating and cooling systems available on the market today. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Ok, ClimateMaster, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of LSB Industries, Inc. whose common stock is traded over the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LXU.

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