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Building for innovation

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

One of an occasional series

Voiland_orig_150x150A series of new initiatives, programs and buildings have sprung up at America’s colleges and universities.

These come in response to a growing set of expectations for higher education coming from both the academic community and society at large. Driven by technological change and increasingly diverse populations, the academy has risen to meet these expectations with a variety of cross-disciplinary problem-based research efforts, new curricula, novel teaching methods and links to the commercial sector. Increasingly, these new behaviors and programs are being grouped under the banner of ‘Innovation’ and housed in ...[more]

Landscape and the campus ideal

Monday, 12 January 2015

Scott SlarskyThe American campus is unique as a Utopian construct that creates a setting for scholarship that keeps nature close. At the turn of the last century, the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted in turn influenced the campuses of John Russell Pope, Jens Larson, and others.

Many of the campuses that were designed in this spirit have seen this rhythm of landscape and built form disrupted and diminished over the decades as institutions bowed to the pressure to accommodate new programs. This was exacerbated by a generation of academic buildings that focused inward, turning their ...[more]

Hesburgh Library renovation emphasizes connectivity

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Notre Dame announced the start of the interior renovation of the University’s iconic Hesburgh Library later this month, at the end of a year in which the Library celebrated its 50th anniversary.

“The 50th anniversary gave us the opportunity to both celebrate a remarkable past and build upon this foundation to create a leading research library for the 21st century,” said Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC. “Now is the time to make a transformational leap forward through a bold renovation that will keep Hesburgh Library the centerpiece of Notre Dame’s intellectual pursuits and an enduring symbol of our academic excellence.”

This phase will focus on making the library more ...[more]

LEED Gold for Colby’s Davis Science Center

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

LEED Gold

Sometimes the best lesson in environmental responsibility on campus is the academic building around you.

For Colby College, its commitment to sustainable design and practice was affirmed when the Davis Science Center received LEED Gold Certification this fall from the US Green Building Council.

The Center is Shepley Bulfinch’s eighth project to be LEED Gold Certified.

The design responds to the Georgian architecture of Colby’s existing campus while incorporating best practices in sustainable design, including local sourcing of materials. The dominant exterior material is water struck ‘Colby Blend’ brick, manufactured by the same nearby brickyard that ...[more]

Think laterally: entrepreneurship and liberal arts education

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Steve Erwin AIA, LEED API spent time a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh at SCUP 49, the national conference of the Society for College and University Planning. Many of the discussions circled around ideation and collaboration.

In one of the more thought-provoking sessions I attended, the focus was on how a small liberal arts school was using “entrepreneurial” processes to put a framework around collaborative and critical problem solving. It was striking to see an approach developed by and associated with business education used as a productive experiential framework for learning rather than the more predictable emphasis ...[more]

Environmental honors for DEC Center

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

LEED GoldThe DEC Center at Philadelphia University has received LEED Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council and a shout-out in two design publications.

“Philadelphia University is a leader in both sustainability education and practices on our campus,” said university president Stephen Spinelli Jr. “These are critically important issues in the 21st century.”

Some of the sustainable strategies that earned the DEC Center its LEED Gold Certification include its stormwater management system, heat-reducing green roof, water-efficient faucets and toilets, solar pre-heat of hot water, energy-efficient lighting, partial geothermal power from the University’s first ...[more]

Wabash College breaks ground on student housing project

Friday, 23 May 2014

Construction is now underway at Wabash College for a new 136-bed student housing complex on the College’s Crawfordsville, Indiana, campus. The $15 million plan includes the construction of two 38-bed halls, two 16-bed lodges, and two duplex-style townhomes with 12 beds each. Shepley Bulfinch designed the six-building complex.

The new housing, which will be sited along the campus’ west side, includes increased parking and links to the main campus through walkways and landscaping.

“We are excited about the development of the near west side of campus and the expansion of student housing options,” said President Gregory D. Hess. “The new residences represent careful planning and long conversations with students, faculty, staff and ...[more]

Practice what you teach: LEED Gold for Austin College

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

IDEA Center observatoryAustin College’s new IDEA Center has received LEED Gold certification, and the fact that it is the first LEED Certified building on the college’s Sherman, Texas, campus is no coincidence.

The IDEA (Inquiry, Discovery, Entrepreneurship, Access) Center embodies the College’s long-standing leadership in science education and its commitment to a new campus standard for environmentally responsive buildings. The Center, which opened its doors at the start of the current academic year, is home to the Departments of Math, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, and Physics. The multidisciplinary facility marks a ...[more]