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Pierce College Rainier Science and Technology Building Sustainability Case Study

This dynamic new LEED Gold facility uses building systems as an integral part of the curriculum and learning pedagogy; it is a concrete example of how sustainable design can create real cost effective innovations that enhance learning. The Rainier Science and Technology Building is sited to take advantage of sun angles, wind direction and a variety of passive solar techniques. Building massing also made the most of the natural slope of the site; the program is split into three distinct laboratory “pods” that step down the site from the northwest at its highest point down towards the southeast. Filling the ‘voids’ between the pods are two winter gardens that utilize the adjacent walls for two sides of their enclosure with glass walls facing northeast to the natural landscape and southwest towards the campus buildings. These spaces are capped by skylights that slope with the natural grade of the site.

The building footprint for the Rainier Science and Technology Building was limited to 40,758 sf, while 135,260 sf of surrounding vegetated open space was preserved as part of the project, to be restored and maintained by the campus for at least the life of the building. To encourage building users to use alternative transportation methods in their commutes to the project, no new parking was added to service the building, and three parking stalls in the existing lot were designated preferred parking for alternative fuel vehicles. Additionally, the building is serviced by two bus lines.

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