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Eastern Connecticut State University

New Science and Classroom Building

Location: Willimantic, CT
Project Completed: 2008
Size: 178,000 SF
“Eastern is well known for its science faculty and programs; finally our building matches the quality of the educational program… Overall the building is the most striking on campus; the use of glass makes the building attractive from the outside and provides significant views of the campus from the inside.” (Nancy Tinker, Director of Facilities Management & Planning, Eastern Connecticut State University)
what mattered to the client
  • to create a new teaching facility consolidating Biology, Enviro. Earth Sciences, Phys. Sciences, Math, Computer Sciences, Sustainable Energy Studies that reflects the latest trends in undergraduate science education (formal and informal collaboration, discovery-based, experiential learning, new technology)
  • to position the building to provide a main gateway to the southern end of a previously fragmented quadrangle
  • to use forms and a material palette that reinforces the University’s developing architectural image as well as elevate the status and visibility of science at the University
  • to achieve a high sustainability standard
outcomes-based design RESULTS
  • The building features adaptable, technically-sophisticated labs, general classrooms, lecture halls, greenhouse, faculty office spaces, and a 150-seat lecture hall with theater-like seating intended for use by faculty across the University as well as invited speakers.
  • The faculty office wing is configured in a suite arrangement to promote interaction, creating a department "hub" that provides each department and faculty group with conference and support space.
  • The manipulation of the building mass creates an outdoor room that enhances connections to other campus buildings and provides student and faculty gathering areas at a major pedestrian sequence.
  • Successful Silver LEED™ strategies include: reduced site disturbance and use of native plants; capture of storm water and air handler condensate to supply the cooling towers; light-colored roofing and paving to reduce heat islands; water efficiency, including waterless urinals; construction waste management; optimization of energy performance; recycled content in steel, concrete, aluminum, gypsum board, suspended ceilings, carpet; low-emitting materials for improved indoor air quality; carbon dioxide monitoring, indoor chemical and pollution source control; access to daylight and views
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