Van H. Gilbert Architect PC

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Chemistry Building
New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM
Anticipated Completion: 2016

Size of Project: 40,000 square feet
LEED Silver Certification anticipated

With Tech’s expanding enrollment and commitment to leading edge research, this state-of-the-art teaching and research facillity emphasizes collaboration, dynamic learning, lab infrastructure flexibility, a modular floor plan, technological sophistication, and energy efficiency and sustainability. A light filled, three-story atrium connects the building to the campus pedestrian pathways. Taking cues from traditional New Mexico courtyards, the atrium functions as informal ‘inbetween’ spaces that encourage student and faculty interactions. Labs are to the north to benefit from the softer light. The office component curves out to engage the campus and forms a shaded portal along the front. To the east the classroom block is expressed as a distinct volume, clad in locally-quarried stone tiles. Expanses of high performance glazing, light-shelves, and shading devices mitigate the intense desert environment. Sustainability features: use of materials with recycled content, building envelope, controlled natural light, overhangs, separation of labs and offices for more efficient HVAC performance, glazing, insulation, and water conservation.