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The Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate has honored Old Dominion University's Engineering and Computational Sciences Building with an award for Best Institutional Public Building.

The judges for the award praised the building for it "beautiful composition," and emphasizing their appreciation for "the play between masonry, metal and glass" and the way in which the corner entry is achieved.

Judges included: Mark S. Hassinger, senior vice president of development for WestDulles Properties, J.Eric Moss, AIA, a principal with Ayers/Saint/Gross, Bruce B. Stouffer, director of real estate development for the University of Virginia, Thomas J. Starrs, AIA, director of urban design at Morris & Ritchie Associates, Inc and Keith Weaver, urban designer and associate principal with EDSA, Keith Weaver, RLA, ASLA.

The four-story, 84,000-square-foot ECS building was the first LEED-certified higher education building in Virginia when it opened in 2004. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification recognizes buildings designed to meet environmentally friendly standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The $19.6 million, L-shaped building houses research programs and office space for ODU's new Center for Computational Sciences, aerospace engineering, math and statistics, computer science, modeling and simulation, and the Office of Computing and Communications Services.

Designed by Moseley Architects, the building mixes a traditional academic look with technology-accented touches, such as aluminum sunscreens outside of the windows that both cut air-conditioning costs and reflect natural lighting, and incorporates recyclable materials and products bought from vendors who meet environmental requirements.

At the entrance is a four-story "E-glass" window, which is dark on the outside and light on the inside, that filters UV rays so more useable light and less excess heat invade the lobby. The second, third and fourth floors feature a student lounge and office space that benefit from the spectacular "E-glass" window view.

But the most impressive technology is located inside the building. A 8-foot-by-8-foot video wall greets visitors in the lobby and showcases the work being done in the building's laboratories. The university's modeling and simulation research will be furthered by the Cave Automated Virtual Environment (CAVE) and a virtual reality demonstration theater, capable of submersing a group of 103 students in a virtual research project. Additionally, the university's high-speed computing research, which is helping to build a regional link to the national LambdaRail high-speed network, is housed in the building's laboratories.

Points for LEED certification are awarded in five categories. The new building meets each category in the following ways:

Sustainable site
No parking lots are being paved for the new building. The building integrates bicycle storage areas and alternative fuel recharging stations for futuristic vehicles. Rainwater collected on the roof will filter through on-site rock and plant gardens.

Water efficiency
Native, drought-resistant plants and efficient drip irrigation will reduce the amount of water needed for landscaping. Efficient plumbing systems are expected to cut water use inside the building by 20 percent.

Energy and atmosphere
Increased insulation, external sun-shading, windows that increase day-lighting and other innovations that increase the efficiency of mechanical systems should cut the building's energy demands by 20 percent.

Materials and resources
The building was constructed with increased amounts of salvaged, certified, recycled and rapidly renewable materials. Also, the university will recycle 50 percent of construction debris.

Indoor environmental quality
Air quality management controls keep contaminants out of the heating and air conditioning systems. The building is smoke-free.


This article was posted on: November 4, 2005

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.