October 4, 2018
Reception & Ceremony
The US Grant

Landscape Architecture

Mesa Commons

This Mesa College campus design maximizes site functionality and strengthens the college’s commitment to sustainability with unique design elements and complementary features for both the Mesa Commons and the adjacent Exercise Science building. To address the college’s focal sustainability initiatives, the team set out to accomplish the following goals: conserving water by minimizing storm water runoff, mitigating heat by maximizing shading areas, reducing future costs through maintenance-intensive plant material selections, and contributing to regional ecosystem function through plant selections known to attract pollinators and provide a habitat for local fauna.


With an emphasis on water-efficient landscaping, the Commons is the first building of all the San Diego County’s community colleges to house a group of six 1,700 gallon cisterns that provide 100% of the site’s irrigation needs (up to 98,000 gallons) through reclaimed HVAC condensate water and collected rain water. An organic rooftop garden is also a first for the campus. Used by the Culinary Arts Management department and fed by the day tank, the garden will provide some of the produce used in the building’s student-run café. In addition, the plant palette for both buildings includes California native and drought-tolerant species, providing 75% reduction in total irrigation water needs through the selection of native and drought tolerant plants – saving another 300,696 gallons annually.

  • Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    Mesa College: 7250 Mesa College Dr, San Diego, CA 92111

    Project Owner/Developer:

    San Diego Community College District

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    Lance Lareau, District Archtiect / llareau@sdccd.edu

    Project Architect/Designer:

    Landscape Architect: McCullough Landscape Architecture; Project Manager: Mahalakshmi Balachandran Principal: David McCullough


Contact Us

Contact Us



P.O. Box 122228
San Diego, CA 92112-2228
Federal Tax ID: 95-3513927

Sign Up

Stay on top of your Architectural news

Orchids & Onions is an educational and fundraising program of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization dedicated to education and the promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design throughout the San Diego region.

Get in the Mix