Text description provided by the architects. The Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies (CBEIS) is conceived as an exchange of people, ideas, departments and building methodology. By housing multiple design and engineering disciplines under one roof, CBEIS promotes interactivity among constituent student and faculty from the School of Architecture and Planning, Department of Civil Engineering and Institute of Transportation. As a gateway site on the campus periphery, CBEIS also mediates between the developed edge of Perring Parkway on one side and the bucolic natural setting of Herring Run on the other.
Multiple departments are accommodated on the four levels of the building. In the spirit of collaborative engagement, two horizontal bars bound a sky-lit atrium that runs the length of the building creates as an internal street where programs mix, student vitality is expressed and social spaces meet learning environments. The “street” features a café, lounges, information kiosk, departmental “store fronts”, visual connections to academic studio spaces and a gallery-like space for the interactivity of people and display of their work.
CBEIS also serves as a laboratory for sustainability in design and engineering.To this end, the project is LEED Gold Certified. Not only are day-lighting strategies, resource conservation and energy efficiency leveraged to meet sustainability goals, multiple systems to achieving each of these ends are deployed to visually reveal the options and serve as pedagogical reference points. Multiple forms of daylight harvesting are used, two green roof systems are incorporated, and traditional rooftop photo voltaic (PV) panels are combined with curtain wall integrated PV collectors to illustrate the various technologies available. To help illustrate the dynamic and integrated nature of the building systems, atrium displays graphically monitor performance relative to climatic and occupancy variances.