Originally published in Interiors & Sources

06/01/2013

Communal Growth

Yost Grube Hall Architecture helps Central Oregon Community College serve its community with three intertwined, state-of-the-art facilities.

By Elianne Halbersberg

 
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    A calming, organic color palette, stunning natural views and comfortable furnishings entice students to linger and learn in the new Science Building at Central Oregon Community College. Photograph by Christian Columbres View larger

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    Floor-to-ceiling writing surfaces and display cases abound in the Science Center public areas, turning them into places of education and discussion. Photograph by Christian Columbres View larger

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    A variety of informal student areas in the Science Center encourage collaboration. Photograph by Christian Columbres View larger

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    Flexible instructional spaces in the Science Center accommodate innovative ways of teaching. Photograph by Christian Columbres View larger

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    Lab spaces in the Science Center are connected to an adjacent public hallway by large interior windows to put learning on display. Photograph by Christian Columbres View larger

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    The new Jungers Culinary Center reflects COCC’s partnership with the region’s leading dining establishments. Photograph by Pete Eckert View larger

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    Kitchen and dining labs in the Culinary Center have been designed to be multi-purpose, providing both academic and community use during a typical day. Photograph by Pete Eckert View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2013/0613/I_0613_Web_PE_COCC_11.jpg

    Kitchen and dining labs have been designed to be multi-purpose, providing both academic and community use during a typical day. Photograph by Pete Eckert View larger

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    The Jungers Culinary Center also houses a small library for research and study. Photograph by Pete Eckert View larger

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    The Jungers Culinary Center also houses a small library for research and study. Photograph by Pete Eckert View larger

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    A large, two-story lobby is located in the center of the Health Careers Building to make the space intuitive and friendly for both frequent users and first-time visitors. Photograph by Christian Columbres View larger

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    The new Health Careers Building consolidates the school’s various health careers-related programs under one 45,000-square-foot roof, which also serves as a bridge linking both the upper and lower campus. Photograph by Christian Columbres View larger

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    Light-filled classrooms and dental clinics emphasize health and provide calming views to nature. Photograph by Christian Columbres View larger

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    Light-filled classrooms and dental clinics emphasize health and provide calming views to nature. Photograph by Christian Columbres View larger

Contact & Sources

Economic downturns are never a good thing, but they do have a way of breathing life into community colleges as people return to school to seek additional training and job skills. For Central Oregon Community College, located in Bend, Ore., the Great Recession did just that, rapidly increasing its enrollment and placing added demand on its academic programs.

Working in conjunction with Portland-based Yost Grube Hall Architecture, college administrators proposed an ambitious expansion plan for the campus, eventually including three new facilities. The Jungers Culinary Center, a stand-alone, 15,000-square-foot building was the first of the three to be completed, opening to students in the fall of 2011. The Health Careers Building and Science Center, both 45,000 square feet, opened in the fall of 2012.

The primary goal for the design team from Yost Grube Hall was to unify the three buildings amongst themselves and with the campus as a whole, while also giving each facility its own distinct identity. According to Principal Mark Stoller, it was a challenge uniquely suited to his firm’s preferred way of working. “We look for a natural relationship and relationships within the building,” he says. “We think holistically and get input from the users on how they work together, and how we can support that with the organization of the building and the architecture.”

The smaller culinary building sits on the edge of COCC’s campus, where it will be “the anchor for a small joint venture with a local developer and a commercial development,” says Stoller. “It’s in an intimate setting by itself, nestled in trees. We called it the cabin in the woods. It has its very own character.”

The Health Careers Building and Science Center have been built on the main campus, which was originally developed on a steep hillside. (“Most of the buildings are small in footprint because of this,” Stoller notes.) The three-story Health Careers Building houses massage therapy and dental spaces on the ground floor to accommodate public clinics. The second floor contains general-purpose classrooms and medical assist spaces. Nursing fills the top floor. The two-story Science Building houses biology classrooms on the ground level and chemistry and physics labs upstairs.

“In the end, we had three different buildings, all different in scale, but they all carry a similar aesthetic theme on the campus from about 30 or 35 years ago, which is the use of wood. We primarily used cedar, which is what they have in central Oregon, and concrete—very natural materials,” Stoller says.

Backgrounder: Earth Advantage

Earth Advantage is a green certification program run by the Earth Advantage Insitute, a freestanding nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon that spun off of from Portland General Electric. Originally designed for residential use, the program has been expanded to new commercial buildings under 100,000 square feet—an area of the market the organization deems “underserved.”

The program is similar to the popular LEED rating system, spanning five categories (energy, water, health, materials and land) and offering three levels of certification (Silver, Gold and Platinum).

According to the organization, the energy pathway can result in energy savings of 16 to 50 percent beyond ASHRAE 90. 1-2007. Neither energy modeling nor commissioning are required for certification, putting certification within reach of smaller businesses and firms.

The widespread use of natural materials tied into the administration’s desires to pursue sustainable certification. But instead of going LEED, the school chose to participate in a Portland-based program called Earth Advantage, which is already well-known in the state for its work in residential sustainability.

According to Stoller, Earth Advantage places an emphasis on energy usage, so the design of the building envelopes, electrical systems and lighting were crucial to achieving certification under the organization’s pilot commercial program. But that also presented challenges for designers hoping to maximize the school’s westward view of the Cascade Mountains. “Ideally, you want to face south because it’s easier to control the sun,” Stoller says. “East or west is more of a challenge, because the sun comes in at a much lower angle on the west late in the day.”

As a result, the design team specified high-performance glazing for the buildings to control UV rays, which helped the project gain Earth Advantage Gold certification in the process. “This glazing is quite expensive, so there is a commitment, but once you’re inside the buildings, the views are just incredible. We thought it was unique to the campus to have the ability to open up the buildings and take advantage of the view. We were very cognizant of how to capture the opportunity.”

Inside the buildings, the design team incorporated flexible instructional and multi-purpose spaces to mesh with COCC’s concept of student-centered learning, which encourages students to break into small groups for self-teaching and study. That meant creating slightly larger general purpose classrooms, so that faculty can teach in both traditional lecture modes and informal collaborative sessions. Furnishings have been specified for mobility and wall surfaces have been opened up as much as possible to accommodate more whiteboards. Classrooms have gone from 23 square feet per student up to 28.


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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