Amherst College Science Center
Amhesrt Exterior
Exterior 2-AMHST
Amherst College Science Center

Amherst College – The Science Center

The new $165,000,000 Science Center project is 240,000 SF, housing a program area of 130,000 SF that consists of new teaching and research facilities for the Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychology departments, along with shared resources that include a science library, lecture halls, classrooms, support spaces, conference rooms and social spaces.  Departmental spaces incorporate both teaching and research labs, as well as instructional areas and offices.  The new facility is designed to accommodate future adaptations within the building for new or modified uses as academic science and research programs evolve.

The new facility is cutting edge, both in architectural design and mechanical/electrical systems.  Designed to achieve the highest levels of sustainability, the building has been built deep into a hill with terraced levels of green roofs and deep overhangs for solar control.  Active interior and exterior shading systems are employed for solar control and daylighting optimization to supplement fixed exterior shading devices.  A large central atrium is naturally ventilated through the use of automatically operable windows and mechanically assisted by the atrium smoke exhaust fans.  The atrium also serves as a return air path to deliver non-contaminated air to the main laboratory air handling units for re-use.

The building includes many sophisticated features from a mechanical and electrical system perspective, including chilled beams in all laboratory spaces, radiant ceiling panels in offices and classrooms, displacement ventilation in all non-lab areas, radiant heating/cooling floor system in the atrium area, a high efficiency glycol run-around system, daylight dimming capability in all areas with natural light, and a storm water recycling system.

Designed for maximum sustainability, the design team developed sophisticated solutions.  The resulting innovations set the stage for the Science Center to perform at an unparalleled level of energy efficiency.

Client: Payette
Location: Amherst, MA

2022 – AIA Interior Architecture Award
2021 – BSA Higher Education Design Award
2020 – SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture Merit Award
2020 – AIA Education Facility Design Award of Merit
2020 – BSA Honor Awards for Design Excellence Award
2020 – BSA Sustainable Design Awards Citation
2020 – American Architecture Award
2019 – AIA COTE Top Ten Recipient
2019 – AIA New England, Honor Award
2019 – USGBC Green Building Showcase Market Leader – Innovation
2019 – USGBC Green Building Showcase Market Leader – People’s Choice

EUI (Energy Utilization Index):

91 kBtu/SF – 76% energy reduction compared to the 2030 baseline

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