By Aziza Jackson
GREENSBORO, N.C. — UNC Greensboro recently announced that it is moving forward with the construction of a new and sustainable Nursing and Instructional building.
LS3P Associates Ltd. is the Architect-of-Record and SmithGroupJJR is the Design Architect on the project.
Set to make its debut in spring of 2020, UNCG’s Nursing and Instructional Building project includes the demolition of the McIver Building and construction of a new four-story facility that will house the School of Nursing which is currently located in four buildings.
The facility will also provide teaching and flexible laboratory research space for the School of Health and Human Sciences and the Departments of Biology and Chemistry, in addition to providing more space for the School of Nursing, .
In addition to housing 39 labs, 14 classrooms, nine research suites and a community engagement center, the 180,000-square-foot facility is said to be a shining example of sustainable building and design with UNCG currently pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or higher for the project.
Charlotte-based Rodgers Builders, Inc. is providing construction management, preconstruction, and virtual construction services for the project. Construction includes three components that include demolition of the existing McIver Building, construction of the new Nursing and Instructional building, and construction of the South Chiller Plant, providing capacity for the new building and enhancing reliability of the campus chilled water system.
Builders and designers are now working to incorporate a number of cost-effective and innovative elements that will support the environment as well as health and wellness.
One element includes bioretention and water management. The new building will have a bioretention system, where contaminants and sedimentation will be removed from stormwater runoff. Designers also employed biophilic methods, designing with materials, colors and light in a way that connects people with nature.
Chris Roberts, principal and studio leader at LS3P Associates Ltd., calls it “bringing the outdoors in.”
The building was strategically laid out to avoid critical root zones in existing trees. It’s five-story atrium runs down the middle of the building, creating a lively, open space with natural light and a main staircase, and pedestrian pathways and vegetated pathways located outside of the energy-efficient building.
“A lab building is an energy hog,” said Roberts. “The fact that this building will have labs and classrooms and still be one of the better energy-performing buildings on campus is a big deal.”
Additional eco-friendly features of the new Nursing and Instructional building include:
- Peak energy output from the Photovoltaic panels on the roof that is expected to be only 1 to 2 percent over a year
- Energy-efficiency: LED lights that will be installed throughout the building
- Heat recovery: Exhaust air will preheat unconditioned air entering the building
- Material reuse: Catalpa trees from the McIver Building site were salvaged, milled and treated and will be built into the outdoor classroom
- Vegetated roof: Portions of a roof patio will include natural planted areas to reduce solar heat gain and pre-treat water runoff
- Low-slope high albedo roof design: to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional dark-colored roofs
- Roof pavers: made of recycled materials
“We love to try to incorporate these things but are rarely able to,” said Roberts. “It’s exciting to see so many interventions within one project. I applaud UNCG for such a strong focus on sustainability, and they really embraced these ideas throughout the design.”