New facility becomes the most relevant student experience on campus
The core focus of the Northern Arizona University (NAU) Health and Learning Center is the fundamental consolidation of student recreation and health programs supporting academic success. The building consolidates five previously dispersed but connected facilities into one cohesive independent student learning environment. The result is a facility that promotes increased collaboration, learning and communication and has become the most relevant student experience on campus. Consolidating these programs from their decentralised locations across campus created a significant improvement to the quality of student life on campus.
Additional opportunities surfaced throughout the early phases of design allowing for further inclusions of university athletic departments and two floors of state-of-the-art learning labs. The entire facility is equipped with modern technology to create a transformative 21st century learning and activity space for the campus. All project programs work together to reinforce each other through both visual and physical programmatic overlaps. Throughout all four levels and 288,000-sq-ft of the building, common spaces of two- and three-storey vertical voids are placed to connect student, faculty and staff experience in a way that enhances chance encounters and support learning everywhere all the time.
Natural light floods all spaces within the building and large expanses of properly orientated glazing allow students to connect activity simultaneously from the inside out and outside in. The project incorporates numerous sustainable features including a high performance building skin to optimise energy needs, the installation of 102 solar panels on the building’s roof to create renewable energy, maximised daylighting and building orientation strategies and the utilisation of reclaimed water for landscape irrigation which translates to over 55% reduction in potable water usage. The building is pursuing LEED Gold certification.
The Health and Learning Center realises NAU’s vision of holistic student wellness and academic success and creates a place of engagement where students enhance their mind, body and spirit.