Crystal Cathedral: International Center for Possibilities
Garden Grove, CA

Rev. Robert H. Schuller, whose television ministry has long been symbolized by Garden Groves towering Crystal Cathedral, completed the $40 million International Center for Possibility Thinking. Syska Hennessy Group was selected as the building systems engineer and sustainable consultant for the 58,000 sq. ft. four-story building addition to the campus providing reception facilities for visitors, including an auditorium, gallery, library, retail space and caf.

The technical value added by the Syska Hennessy Group Team evolved around the energy efficient design of the MEP systems, specifically the HVAC, lighting, and lighting control systems. Realizing the center would be home to numerous visitors and various multi-functional events, Syska engineers worked closely with the architectural design team (Richard Meier & Partners) to ensure the systems were properly integrated and could adapt to varying configurations. According to computer energy simulations using DOE2 technology, the new building will be 35% more energy efficient than Title-24 requirements. Due to this energy efficiency, the project qualified for both owner and design team incentives under the "Savings By Design" program administrated by Southern California Edison. By using these energy efficient strategies, Syska Hennessy Group and the design team created an intelligent building that results in low impact to the surrounding environment and local community.

The energy savings strategies employed for the facility include high performance glazing, automated day lighting controls, high efficiency lighting and energy efficient HVAC systems. A large atrium in the building employs a natural ventilation strategy with supplemental air-conditioning for peak conditions. A Computational Fluid Dynamics model was used to optimize the natural ventilation design for thermal comfort and energy efficiency. This project was selected for an Outstanding Achievement Award by the Southern California Development Forum in 2003.