Completed in 2015, Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science offers fundamental research space to advance STEM education. The 151,522-sf, LEED Gold facility contains 15 teaching labs, 20 research labs, 8 classrooms, and office/support space. A base planning module provides initial space flexibility and adaptability to academic needs over the expected life of the building. The “science on display” themed interior provides visual access from the corridors to specialty labs and equipment spaces, and features a lobby display area for zoology specimens and 5-climate green house. Bed face dolomitic limestone in the lobby/stairwell, provides a glimpse into the layers of an ancient Great Lakes-area seabed dating back nearly 400 million years. Exterior masonry detail graphically represents a DNA sequence, subtly evoking the research and instruction for which the building was built. Since labs are typically large energy consumers, the mechanical design was tailored to use energy efficient systems and equipment. Energy strategies included ventilation control through an active contaminant monitoring system, heat recovery/exchange between exhaust and fresh airstreams, occupancy control of terminal unit zone controls, and use of an auxiliary heat recovery chiller to efficiently handle simultaneous heating and cooling loads within the building. The entire team successfully met the challenge of completing the programming and schematic design in 9 weeks so the project could be submitted for State of Michigan Capital Outlay. The facility is a prime example of GVSU’s approach to high quality, efficient design that maximizes the return on construction investment. At a construction cost of $297/SF (below budget), and delivering the building for occupancy and use in less than 36 months from the point of funding approval, the $44.9-million, facility was exemplary in meeting the challenges of cost control, maximizing value, and staying within schedule.
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