LEED Platinum for University of Colorado's new biotechnology building
The University of Colorado Boulder boasts one of the finest American university campuses, set in the foothills of the Rockies and endowed with a character all its own by architect Charles Z. Klauder's 1920 master plan which took advantage of topography and views and called for a 'Tuscan Vernacular Revival' expression. Our master plan for the University's new East Campus adapts the architectural character established by Klauder.
The first building to be realised on the East Campus, the 337,000-sq-ft Caruthers Biotechnology Building, brings together students and scientists from the Colorado Initiative for Molecular Biotechnology, the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. The LEED Platinum Caruthers Biotechnology Building is 'pavilionated' to break down the mass in the manner of the buildings on the main campus; projecting classroom wings shelter a campus entry court facing Colorado Boulevard and an elevated courtyard to the west facing the future quad.
The pavilions organise labs and faculty offices into neighbourhoods to encourage collegial interaction; the neighbourhoods, in turn, are connected by a central 'main street' to shared support spaces and double-height meeting rooms. The building design works with the natural landscape, prevailing winds, and solar orientation: labs face north and south to allow for maximum control over daylight.
The building's palette of local sandstone, brick and red barrel tile evokes the university's original buildings, and was chosen to minimise the heat island effect. The building and the spaces within are orientated to take advantage of natural daylighting and minimise solar gain.
South-facing lab windows have sunshades to minimise glare and light louvers that redirect daylight deep into the labs. A stormwater management system and porous materials minimise runoff, which is further mitigated by a retention pond during storms. Electricity usage is minimised via a low-velocity, high-efficiency HVAC system based on the Labs21 Environmental Performance Criteria.