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    Northern Arizona University: Applied Research and Development Building


    Hybrid new university building delivering an exemplary sustainability performance

    Location:Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
    Size: 6,503 m²
    Client:Northern Arizona University
    Awards:RIBA International Award;
    Structural Engineers of Arizona: Award for Excellence in Structural Engineering;
    Institute of Sustainable Laboratories ‘Go Beyond Award’;
    Holcim Award;
    AIA Southern Arizona Honor Award;
    AIA Arizona: Public Service Energy Award.

    Hopkins’ first American commission brings together facilities for ecological and biological research and incubator spaces for innovative small businesses. Rated LEED Platinum, the 6,500m2 facility forms the centrepiece of a $100 million green campus redevelopment.

    The design responds to site challenges such as extreme fluctuations in temperature, seasonal flood risks and high levels of solar exposure, as well as navigating the potentially conflicting programmatic requirements of laboratories and mixed-use business accommodation. The aspiration was to create a building with exemplary water, energy and air performance that could serve as a teaching tool for sustainability.

    The hybrid facility is set to the north of a large detention pond designed to moderate seasonal water levels. The building has a curved form with a full-height atrium orientated to maximise passive solar collection, which heats the building completely in the winter. The atrium is heavily shaded in the summer, when passive ventilation and cooling maintains a comfortable environment. The inclusion of local materials such as Navajo Sandstone and Ponderosa Pine on the façades gives a contextual response.

    The atrium incorporates a generous shared social hub with break-out areas and café, as well as seminar spaces. It also provides controlled points of entry for both the incubator units on the ground and first floor and the research laboratory. This is located at the top of the building to reduce duct runs to the plant room.

    With its distinctive, exposed portal frame of glued-laminated timber, the atrium also serves as an effective shop window for the university, bringing a new identity to the emerging community of University graduates, entrepreneurs and scientific researchers.

    Hopkins worked on the project with Tucson based practice Burns Wald-Hopkins Shambach Architects as Architect of Record.

    “The Applied Research and Development Laboratory Building is an exceptional facility achieving a LEED Platinum rating. The level of service, value to the project, degree of competence, and consultation on problem solving far exceeded expectations and exemplified excellence in all aspects.”

    Richard M. Bowen, Assistant to the President