design thinkers

Two SLAM-Designed Projects Earn Honors in AIA Connecticut Design Awards

GLASTONBURY, CT, October, 18, 2023—Our commitment to sustainable, healthy design won two recognitions in the AIA Connecticut 2023 Design Awards, a program which recognizes design excellence in built and unbuilt work in Connecticut or by Connecticut-based firms.  Rutgers University, Student Projects Studio was awarded Merit in the Commercial, Institutional, Educational, or Multi-Family Residential Design – Small category; and Iona University, Kelly Center for Health Sciences, has been awarded Merit in the Adaptive Re-Use category. The 2023 jury was comprised of Grace Kim, FAIA, a principal at Schemata Workshop, Inc., in Seattle; Ashley Rao, AIA, LEED AP, CPHC, an associate principal at Leers Weinzapfel Associates in Boston; Stephen Schreiber, FAIA, a professor and chair of the Department of Architecture at UMass Amherst in Amherst, MA; and Thomas Tumelty, AIA, LEED GA, an associate at Foster + Partners in New York.

“It is gratifying to be recognized by our professional peers in the AIA Connecticut Design Awards,” says Principal and Director of Design Rick Herzer, AIA. “Both of these projects exemplify our firm’s commitment to reducing our environmental impact by limiting as much embodied and operating carbon as possible, while making uplifting, progressive and healthful environments.”

Iona University’s Kelly Center for Health Sciences adapted a former 1970s library building to accommodate its growing nursing, occupational therapy, and mental health counseling programs. The open, transformative design encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration and interprofessional education that is helping address a global shortage of healthcare professionals. As a building that focuses on improving health, the adaptive reuse that opened in 2022 placed an emphasis on its own healthful interiors through the selection of non-toxic materials and the inclusion of biophilic design elements such as exposed natural materials, views to the exterior, and natural light wherever possible within the building.

Jury comments described the project as:

“A thoughtful approach to teaching environment (program), daylighting, health/well-being of students.”

The Rutgers University Student Projects Studio is a compact building with major impact. This purpose-built, all-electric facility was a major step for the institution as the first on-campus, net-zero facility that celebrates its students. The more than 1,000 students who join Rutgers University’s engineering clubs now have a dedicated, state-of-the-art facility for interdisciplinary collaboration, project and equipment management, and preparation for intercollegiate competition.

The carbon- and fossil fuel-free facility sports a 46.2 kW solar array on the roof that powers heat pumps and annual power requirements including process loads for manufacturing equipment that includes composite fabrication, solar electronics, welding, chemical and fume hoods, and specialty maker spaces. Insulated double-glazing systems with a double low-e coating and mineral wool insulation coupled with a sheltering roof supported by the exterior columns maintain an extremely tight, high-performing building envelope. The building has an overall EUI of -1.7.

The jury said:

“Great EUI performance. Simple industrial materials, big impact.”

Learn more about SLAM’s work on higher education campuses.