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Georgia Southern University

Biological Sciences Building

the backstory

The LEED Gold Certified Biological Sciences Building design enables the department of biology to consolidate research and instruction in a state-of-the-art dedicated facility, that promotes active student engagement in scientific exploration. The first major building in a new precinct of campus devoted to the sciences and research, it represents a prerequisite first step in the development of a new program in Coastal Plain Biology, and is a benefit to both the local region and the state of Georgia. 

at-a-glance

TYPE:
New Building
PRACTICE:
Architecture
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Programming & Planning
LOCATION:
Statesboro, GA
STATUS:
Completed 2013
SIZE:
158,000 SF
INSIGHT

The University aspired to have an inter-disciplinary biosciences building that would reflect their commitment to sustainability and serve as a highly visible node along a major campus pedestrian way that was extended through the site.

SOLUTION
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The new facility is designed to be perceived as a building in the woods – seen through and among the trees of its pine forested site. It is an ensemble of articulated parts (two 3-story lab / classroom wings; a field house containing a vivarium, aquatics lab, and specimen collections; and a botanical greenhouse). The extension of the campus “pedestrium” through the site bisects the composition at a breezeway connecting the lab wings to the field house, highlighting the greenhouse and the interior working areas of the building to passersby on their way to and from the Student Recreation Center.

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The building’s instructional labs are designed to be discipline-specific, but are generic enough to be easily adaptable to the requirements of a variety of disciplines as the curricula evolves. Likewise, the “transformer” labs accommodate students working in the less populated sub-disciplines and specialties within a physical configuration and arrangement that encourages and enables inter-disciplinary inquiry and collaboration.

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Research labs are intermingled with instructional labs in the same building wing. They are generally placed along major circulation paths and are adjacent to, or opposite the entrances to instructional labs. The physical juxtaposition facilitates the sharing of support facilities; while interior “windows” along the corridors put research activities “on display”. Student work in the form of posters, nature image displays, and sample and model cases co-located throughout informal student gathering spaces and the building lobby.

IMPACT
“

(The building) serves as the nexus where teaching and research converge to form south Georgia’s most comprehensive center for biological science and research. The facility will not only allow us to meet our educational expectations and provide state-of-the-art training for the future workforce of this great state, but will also greatly enhance Georgia Southern’s research capabilities.

Brooks Keel
President, Georgia Southern University
”
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Sustainable design elements: Photovoltaic Panels; Solar Thermal Panels; Bioswales for stormwater management; All plantings are indigenous; Building Dashboard system to display real-time power and water consumption.

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The building houses the Department of Biology which includes undergraduate and graduate studies in Biology, Microbiology, Parasitology, Zoology and Ecology.

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The building consolidated the department and provided a new home for the students and faculty. 25% of the students now enrolled in biology go on to obtain PhDs.

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