Arizona State University is quickly working to expand its downtown Phoenix campus, and one of its newest additions is the infill building for the College of Nursing. Clad in prefabricated copper panels, the now shiny exterior will eventually weather in the desert climate. Shade, a tight budget and the incorporating the building into the urban fabric were all major factors for the SmithGroup while designing the new educational facility. With special attention to passive solar design, recyclable materials, energy and water efficiency, the College of Nursing is an important gateway to the ASU downtown campus and has also achieved a LEED Gold certification.
Located right down the block from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, the College of Nursing effectively matches a similar aesthetic with a desert colored and high-performance facade. Copper was chosen for the building’s facade for multiple reasons. First, most copper being sold today is partially recycled and it is also highly recyclable. Second, Arizona is leading producer of copper in the US, so the material could easily be sourced locally. And finally, at the time of construction, the price of copper was relatively low, so the school was able to take advantage of this lower cost material and keep in line with their budget. Over time, the prefabricated panels, some which include perforations for ventilation, will naturally fade into browns and grays.
Besides the high-performance glazing, cool-roofing, efficient thermal insulation, shading was also incredibly important for both inside the building as well as pedestrians, who enjoy a shade screen along the street as they walk through downtown. Water conservation measures including low-flow and dual-flush fixtures and native landscaping measures reduce potable water use by 59%, and energy efficient strategies, like solar hot water heating, reduce energy costs by 20%. With a number of design awards to add to its accolades, the building achieved LEED Gold certification making the five-story glass and copper building a fitting entrance to the school’s downtown campus.
Via A/N Blog
Images ©Bill Timmerman and Liam Frederick