By improving health and reducing environmental harm, the collaboration between Lake|Flato Architects and BNIM Architects for the UTHSC School of Nursing has become a model for social and educational space that is both inspiring and accountable.
Located in the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical center, this building reaches out to the rest of the almost 50 medical institutions nearby, but is still able to stand out amongst its surroundings because of its promotion of health not only in function and use, but in construction and performance as well. Given the density of the medical center and the size of its site, the building becomes a vertical campus, with a gradient of public-to-private spaces moving up from the ground level.
The most prevalent and impressive aspect of the project is its sustainability efforts. The entire UTHSC School of Nursing was built with 50% recycled materials. Photovoltaic panels and daylight strategies on the different facades respond to varying solar conditions depending on their orientation, and utilize natural light without increasing heat gain, leading to a 40% reduction in energy use. Rainwater collection allows for a 60% reduction in water use. All of these processes together lead the project to reach LEED Gold certification.