The 50,000-square-foot sustainability-driven Science & Engineering Building/Information Commons for Germanna Community College’s Fredericksburg area campus provides classrooms and laboratories for chemistry, physics, biology and engineering, and also houses a central Information Commons for students CAPACITY1,069COST PER SQ FT$367.29FEATURED IN2012 Architectural Portfolio faculty.
State-of-the-art laboratories are connected through preparation rooms, which include equipment for uninterrupted research and synergic experiments across science sectors. The Information Commons provides students access to naturally lighted quiet study zones, instructional classes, a multimedia center, computer stations and traditional library service. The building also provides open faculty offices, IT and security areas, and separate break and conference rooms for students and staff.
A wind turbine powers outlets near benches in the bioswale garden, and water is harvested from the building runoff to flush the toilets—the building concurrently uses and teaches sustainable design. Designed to receive LEED silver certification, the commons includes renewable-energy elements such as a green roof and smart energy-management controls. Displays on view in the glass-faced mechanical room allow for education both in and out of the classroom.