Built on the edge of Bismarck State College’s hilltop campus, the National Energy Center of Excellence is dominated by dramatic views of the Missouri River Valley. Instead of placing the facility on the crown of the knoll, the building is nestled into the hillside. The entrance is on the third floor with a three-story atrium serving as a light well into COST PER SQ FT$132.31FEATURED IN2009 Architectural Portfolio lower level.
Program requirements included classrooms, learning labs and faculty offices for the Department of Energy Education. Additional program requirements included offices and hospitality areas for college administration. The energy community and alumni showed their support of Bismarck State College’s role in the future of energy generation by providing donations that funded the majority of the project.
Designed to receive LEED silver certification, the building serves as a learning lab for energy conservation. Sustainable design features include retractable solar shades regulating daylighting in 75 percent of the building; geothermal heating/cooling; fly-ash concrete; and reliance on regional sources for building materials with low-VOC and 20 percent recycled content.