Sneak Peek: A Net Zero, MultiGenerational Recreation Center

A new, 52,200-square-foot recreation center in the city of Tracy, California, breathes new life into a neglected park and offers a flexible amenity for users across generations. Anchored by a net zero energy building, the project blends indoor spaces and landscape seamlessly, uniting a dynamic program and creating a regional destination focused on health and well-being.

At the heart of the design lie inclusivity and the aim to serve the entire community. A thoughtful balance of active and passive programs adapts to different uses throughout the day and year, from morning activities for seniors to after-school programs for children. Diverse, flexible program elements include a three-court gymnasium, tech lounge, maker space, micro library and multipurpose rooms branching from a central courtyard entry pavilion with a bouldering wall. An elevated running/walking track winds its way through the building’s main spaces, creating a visually engaging and climate-controlled environment. A comprehensive master plan reorganizes the park, diversifies its ecology with drought-tolerant plantings and adds a host of amenities, including a skate park, dog park, walking trails and bike connectivity, fostering a sense of community and encouraging intergenerational interaction.

Multi Gen Rec Center 1

The net zero energy facility uses passive design strategies and out-of-building functions to significantly reduce energy consumption. Careful building orientation, vertical sunshades, a photovoltaic (PV) canopy and perforated screens mitigate glare and heat gain, ensuring optimal comfort for users. The building generates all its power through the on-site PV array while the use of thermal mass and passive cooling techniques contributes to energy efficiency.