The James B. McNeer Hall Science and Technology Building is the first new academic building on the campus since the college was founded in 1960.
The three-story building is home to biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics classrooms and laboratories; academic computing facilities; seminar rooms; faculty and COST PER SQ FT$269.19CITATIONLouis I. Kahn CitationFEATURED IN2011 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized offices; and faculty and student lounges.
The new building completes and serves as a terminus for the academic quadrangle on the south campus. The curved facade provides visibility of the main entrance to pedestrians crossing Carson Road from the north campus, on axis with a primary pedestrian thoroughfare from the east. Classrooms, laboratories and offices within the building enjoy views of the preserved pine forest to the west, and the academic quadrangle to the east.
Earning LEED gold in June 2011, the project features many high-performance design elements. A second-story garden room is designed to help reduce stormwater runoff and the heat-island effect. The building does not use irrigation for landscape, which consists of native Virginia plant species. Drainage swales are incorporated to detain water and supply additional water for the surrounding vegetation. Water-efficiency strategies, including installing low-flow fixtures and dual-flush toilets, add up to a more than 41 percent reduction in water use.
The building’s energy model predicts an energy cost reduction of 34 percent, which includes highly efficient HVAC equipment, as well as the use of low-e insulating glass windows with argon-filled double panes and daylight harvesting. Occupancy sensors and daylighting controls are situated within 15 feet from all windows to reduce artificial lighting loads.
"This building helps complete the campus quad in a nice way. It’s a very well-detailed building—on the inside and outside. There is a great sense of transparency. The consistency of the interior treatments and high-quality environment provides a dignified setting."--2011 jury