The existing site is being transformed from an impermeable parking lot into an environmentally friendly building surrounded by a native and climate-adaptive plant palette. The direct connection to Sehome Hill Arboretum provides a unique opportunity to employ a diverse selection of species for bearers, pollinators, and foragers to encourage a habitat bridge from the arboretum to the core campus. STEM for Everyone WWU’s STEM enrollment growth, combined with the state of Washington’s goals to expand opportunities in science, technology, and engineering education, created a need for this facility. The project brings together the newly formed electrical engineering department and the computer science department into one space, creating multi-disciplinary learning environments and collaboration, teaming, and office spaces.
Project status: Under construction, construction commenced May 2023.
The project considers functionality and sustainability, and successfully pushes boundaries for the integration of engineering systems and energy storage.
Holcim Awards 2023 Jury for North America
The jury panel found this to be a very solid project with an interesting infrastructure program. The project team demonstrated a comprehensive and well-thought-out approach to infrastructure design, considering both functionality and sustainability. The jury panel also recognized the project as particularly successful for its ability to push boundaries, especially in the integration of engineering systems and a significant amount of energy storage. The project team demonstrated a commendable approach to addressing these challenges, resulting in a well-executed solution able to set a new standard for future campus projects.
By incorporating native plants and implementing efficient water management strategies, the project team also showcased their dedication to preserving the environment, fostering biodiversity and promoting responsible water usage. The jury found the embodied carbon emission number high but attributed it to the unique approach of hosting energy storage within the scheme of the building.