The Nassau Community College Life Sciences Building on Long Island in New York is the first new building on the commuter campus in more than 15 years. Opening in September 2012, the building is a three-story structure that uses simple circulation to create a sense of openness and connection to the campus while providing ample places CAPACITY750COST PER SQ FT$412.00FEATURED IN2012 Architectural Portfolio interdepartmental collaboration. Natural copper-plate exterior wall panels bring a warm but sleek, contemporary look to the campus. Ceramic tile panels and aluminum storefronts mark entrances and highlight classroom activity.
The new building brings modern classrooms and technology to the campus in six large general classrooms, six chemistry labs, six practical-skills nursing training rooms and a computerized hospital simulation lab. The building also provides two large computer learning labs and a technology package of high-fidelity clinical simulation, tablet smartboards, smart-card security and wireless technology throughout. The building’s U-shaped structure wraps a landscaped courtyard surrounded by 70 new faculty offices on all three floors. Chemistry laboratories are on the second floor, separated from the public functions and student traffic, allowing for more focused studies and a higher level of chemical safety. By situating the nursing-skills spaces, computer lab and simulation labs on the highest floor, the design creates a level of separation that enables the nursing department to create a stronger identity within its new space. All of the lab and lecture rooms are situated along the building’s outer perimeter, with large glass windows displaying the building’s functions.
The 74,000-square-foot academic building provides an opportunity for the college to develop a sustainable mission on campus and seek LEED gold certification. Through the use of recycled copper panels for exterior cladding, an energy-saving rainscreen facade system, stormwater recycling for site irrigation, daytime lighting sensors, energy-efficient HVAC components and installation of a building management system, the college has taken a large step toward achieving its energy-savings mission.