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JCSU breaks ground on new science centre in North Carolina
Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) has broken ground on a new Science Center at its Charlotte campus in North Carolina, US.
Designed by Gantt Huberman Architects, the Science Center will be built between the James B. Duke Memorial Library and the Jane M. Smith Memorial Church, located on the campus of JCSU. The new building will encompass an area of around 62,000 square feet, which will be spread over three levels.
The building will house a common atrium, teaching labs, offices and a tiered lecture hall that will have a seating capacity of 250. The building will be constructed with sustainable materials and methods, which will enable it to comply with the norms of LEED Silver certification.
The centre will be an energy-efficient building, which will use a high-efficiency energy plant. A chilled beam cooling system is proposed for classrooms. Further energy efficiency will be achieved by means of low-E insulated glazing with a low solar heat gain coefficient and exterior shading devices.
The building, to negate the heat island effect, will have a TPO white roofing membrane. The membrane, coupled with R-21 roofing insulation, will reduce heat gain and conditioned air loss. Additional elements include sensor operated light switches, and fluorescent high-efficiency lighting in laboratories and classrooms.
The new building will also have provision for minimising on-site stormwater runoff by means of reducing impervious surfaces, native and low water usage landscaping. The building will feature water-efficient fixtures, low -VOC paints and adhesives. All the carpets, wood and metal laboratory casings and furniture employed in the building will have high content of recyclable materials. About 5% of the parking spaces will be provided for low-emission, low-energy-use vehicles in the centre’s new parking lot.
The university intends to use the building to offer programs in the College of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The new building will offer courses in renewable energy, medical informatics, bioinformatics, analytics and bioinformatics along with electronics, cyber security and robotics. The project is being funded by means of a $25 million grant from The Duke Endowment.
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