The Architecture Building Expansion is a reflection of the school’s curriculum and a working laboratory for sustainable practices. The south side of the site is occupied by a water conservation demonstration garden showcasing five different Arizona ecosystems, where students and the public can learn about water efficient irrigation and native plants. Water captured from the roof deck and condensate from the HVAC system filters into a 12,000 gallon holding tank used for the garden’s irrigation system, resulting in an 87% reduction in the use of potable water for the garden. The architectural vocabulary of the building is based on exposed building systems. The use of exposed mechanical, structural and architectural systems becomes a teaching tool for the students who occupy this building. The use of glass, steel and concrete, as well as exposed utility systems, minimizes the quantity of materials, and the need for multiple layers of finishes resulting in a building assembly of naturally low VOC emitting materials.
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