Sustainability as a teaching tool

Tuesday 01 Mar 2011

An interdisciplinary science building that uses new sustainable technologies to teach students conservation measures

The Life Sciences Center will establish new campus aesthetic standards in a modern, interdisciplinary facility for biology, chemistry and natural science. The Science Center will house teaching and research laboratories, lab support space, faculty offices, classrooms, shared public spaces, a 300-seat auditorium and a 370-vehicle subterranean parking structure.

The project objectives of achieving interdisciplinary collaboration, sustainability, and connectivity have informed the design process, resulting in a prominent campus building that will itself serve as a teaching tool. The project seeks LEED Silver certification and the design team has capitalised on established and new sustainable technologies such as: green roofs and drought-tolerant vegetation that will be used as teaching tools in Biology coursework; storm water retention planters that Natural Science will monitor for pollutants; photovoltaic and solar thermal panels that Engineering will use for alternative energy coursework; and water recycling measures that will be studied by both Biology and Natural Science.

Other sustainable strategies include reclaimed water, chilled beams, passive cooling, extensive day lighting and more. An extensive signage program throughout the building will highlight all sustainable measures in order to create an integrated teaching experience for all who use the building. The building is organised so that lower division classrooms, conference spaces and main auditorium are located on the first floor; these highly active spaces, which are populated throughout the day, are adjacent to the outdoor public plaza and garden spaces that form a courtyard between the new and existing science buildings.

Retractable walls in the public lobby space blur the line between indoor and outdoor space, taking advantage of the benign, year-round climate. The upper two floors of the building are given over to upper division classrooms and faculty office space; these spaces are augmented by public lounges and wide open corridors that encourage interaction among the users.

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team
  • Town Planning Manager | Housebuilder in Surrey | 3+ years' PQE

    Are you a Town Planner with some commercial experience under your belt (consultancy or developer)? Would you like to work for a regional housebuild...
    • Lewis Davey
    • Surrey - near M25/M23 junction
  • Principal Planning Consultant (Policy)

    This is a career opportunity for somebody looking to play a key role in the delivery of an effective and efficient planning policy service.
    • Capita
    • Manchester/Salford (North West) or Breckland or North Tyneside or Barnet (North London)
  • Planning Officers

    Work as key members of the Councils development management service providing pre-application advice, dealing with applications and appeals.
    • Chiltern and South Bucks Council
    • Amersham, Buckinghamshire
  • Enforcement Officer - Hertfordshire

    A Local Authority in Hertfordshire are looking for an Enforcement Officer to assist them with a backlog of cases for an initial contract of 3-6 months
    • Oyster Partnership
    • Hertfordshire
  • Planning Officer

    Do you want to work for a Planning Authority in a superb world-class location, that also has an outstanding record of achievement?
    • Plymouth City Council
    • Plymouth, Devon