A new 154,000 GSF state-of-the-art science center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. started construction last month. Located at an active junction of the mid-campus area, the New Science Center is designed to improve pedestrian conditions by drawing the Georgetown community into and through this precinct. Creating vital outdoor spaces and pedestrian pathways in a formerly barren area, the new science center will house research and teaching laboratories, classrooms, and offices for the biology, chemistry, and physics departments. Faculty input influenced the design of the teaching labs and common spaces in order to maximize collaboration and interdisciplinary research.
“This facility will be the centerpiece of Georgetown’s commitment to cutting-edge science,” said Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia. “We have a long tradition of student-centered research, and we recognize the importance of enhancing the university’s science and research facilities to better equip our future leaders with the knowledge and experience they will need in matters of science, quantitative reasoning and critical analysis.”
The new building has been designed to incorporate many green elements which are expected to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification standards. These features include chilled beams, enthalpy (heat) wheels, maximum daylight and views, native plants, a water reclamation system and renewable materials.“We wanted to preserve the strong rhythm and relationship of open spaces to buildings on the Georgetown campus. The steep grade of the site allowed us to create terraced areas for students and faculty to congregate and also improve the flow of pedestrian traffic,” says Robert J. Schaeffner, principal at Payette architectural design firm. “When complete, the revitalized science center will be a tangible aspect of the university’s mission of providing high-level academic and research facilities.”