Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Spring 2010 (March 24, 2010 at 12:00 am)

Science Center Tallies Awards


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March 24, 2010 at 12:00 am

Science Center AtriumAfter only one full year of use, the Beloit College Center for the Sciences is proving to be a paragon of both form and function. The building received two important distinctions in quick succession at the end of last year.

In October, the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded the building a Design Excellence Honor Award in Interior Architecture at the AIA’s 54th Annual DesignNight 2009 in Chicago.

Designed by Chicago-based Holabird & Root Architects and completed in 2008, the 117,000-square-foot Center for the Sciences was one of 252 projects entered in the annual competition and among 10 buildings to receive awards in the interior architecture category.

In December, the College received word that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) had officially awarded the building platinum-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status. The platinum designation is the highest rating offered by the USGBC. The building is the third of four in the state of Wisconsin to receive this distinction as of this writing.

In order to achieve any level of LEED certification, building owners and operators must use measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions, a task even more monumental when designing and constructing a complex building like a science center.

“We are extremely pleased with this accomplishment, which is important for Beloit College, the city of Beloit, and for higher education,” said Kohnstamm Professor of Chemistry Brock Spencer, who coordinated the design and construction of the building for the College.

Constructed by J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. of Madison and Klobucar of Beloit, the building boasts a host of environmentally friendly features, such as a green vegetated roof, high-recycled content in building materials and furnishings, significant reduction in energy and water use, and a storm-water cistern for watering greenhouse plants.

“We are, of course, thrilled to have gotten LEED platinum status,” says President Scott Bierman, “but even more important is that we have a green building that works terrifically well—as well as any I have ever seen—as an integrated set of learning spaces.”

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