Designing the Sustainable Learning Lab: A Multidisciplinary Research & Teaching Environment

Tuesday, April 30, 1:45 - 2:35 PM

Room #: Manatee Spring I & II

This presentation will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing sustainable solutions in a comprehensive multidisciplinary teaching and research building at Webster University on a constrained site adjacent to another LEED certified building. The design carefully places the large four-story structure within the campus’ intimate scale of existing buildings. The building steps down toward the center of the campus—its form and scale complementing the existing architecture. The auditorium, placed on the lowest level, has access to a newly created garden.

The 88,000 GSF Interdisciplinary Science Building triples the number of science labs on campus and houses the departments of Anthropology, Sociology & Psychology, Institute for Human Rights, International Languages and Cultures, Nurse Anesthesia, Nursing, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics—disciplines that are currently located in multiple buildings throughout the campus. In addition to teaching and research labs for the departments of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, the Nursing program will include a Health Assessment Lab with Mock Patient Beds while a Cadaver Lab, Dry Skills Lab and Simulation Lab will support the Nurse Anesthesia program. 

The program also includes a Quantitative Lab for the Sociology & Psychology department and a teaching kitchen for the International Languages and Cultures program. The new building is pursuing LEED certification and will transform the institution’s focus on interdisciplinary science and support greater academic collaboration and the region’s growing science and technical industry. It will promote undergraduate research and faculty student interaction both inside and outside the labs. Collaboration spaces are located on all levels.

Key Takeaways:
•    Better understand how to design a sustainable multi-program interdisciplinary science building on a constrained campus site.
•    Better understand how to integrate multiple disciplines in a single building that is flexible to accommodate change.
•    Better understand how to promote undergraduate research and enhance student faculty interaction.
•    Better understand how to design a Nursing Simulation Lab and other specialized teaching labs.

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