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LEED BD+C: New Construction v2 - LEED 2.1

Science & Technology Center

Clarion University of Penn
Clarion, PA 16214
United States
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LEED Gold 2011

In 2009, the time had come to recycle the facilities of the aging Pierce Science Center originally constructed in 1968. The architects at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson embraced state-of-the-art building science and technology and created a new Center which showcases energy flexibility, sustainability, and conservation. This approach is evident in the building’s operations as well as in its academic blueprint.

On June 1, 2009, the Science and Technology Center at Clarion University became the centerpiece of sustainable design on campus after two years of construction and planning. The $34 million, 98,000 square foot Center is home to the anthropology, geography, earth science, biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics departments. The building contains seven classrooms, two seminar rooms, 40 laboratories, 55 offices and is connected to the 8,000 square foot Donald Peirce Planetarium and Auditorium.

In 2009, the time had come to recycle the facilities of the aging Pierce Science Center originally constructed in 1968. The architects at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson embraced state-of-the-art building science and technology and created a new Center which showcases energy flexibility, sustainability, and conservation. This approach is evident in the building’s operations as well as in its academic blueprint. The configuration of the classrooms can easily be modified to accommodate the space demands for interdisciplinary studies. The result is a LEED Gold certified space from which every person at Clarion University can benefit.

The building envelope features exterior and interior walls made of recycled materials to reduce material cost, a white roof to lessen the heat island effect, and polished concrete floors to reduce VOC emissions and maintenance. The design emphasizes natural lighting by taking advantage of curtain walls and outside windows which provide over 50% natural light.

Mechanically, the building utilizes a rainwater gathering system which collects water in underground cisterns for various uses. The net result is a 60 percent reduction in building water use over traditional buildings of similar size due to an estimated 748,680 gallons of water per year harvested from the roof. The HVAC and lighting systems are motion-controlled and monitor temperatures and lighting based on room occupancy. Clarion also installed a heat recovery system, rooftop solar panels, and a gas-fired micro-turbine resulting in a 25-40 percent energy cost savings compared to the former Peirce Science Center. The micro-turbine also produces low-cost electrical power and heated water, thereby reducing demand for centrally-sourced steam heat.

The Science and Technology Center is an example of Clarion’s forward thinking vision for sustainability in education. In the words of former University President Joseph Grunenwald: “This unique structure will assure all students are exposed to science in a laboratory environment . . . [and] will provide faculty and students, alike, the opportunity to advance their creative ideas both for educational attainment and economic development.”

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Project details
Size
108,560 sf
Use
Higher Education
Setting
Urban
Certified
18 Apr 2011