New home for the College

9045405918_ea3e19e80a_bIn June 2014, the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work (Stempel) will be moving into the Academic Health Center 5 building (AHC5) at the Maidique Campus.

AHC5 is a brand new 121,400-sq.-ft. Office/Laboratory/Classroom Complex providing the University with flexible research labs, state of the art active learning classrooms, interdisciplinary faculty offices, graduate student study and research areas, multipurpose conference rooms, and faculty/student gathering spaces that promote collaborative work. This $30M building is a critical component in the growth of the university and is a key component of the Master Plan for the Academic Health Center.

In recognition of the university’s commitment to sustainability, the building was designed and built to meet the USGBC’s LEED BD+C “Silver” rating level with the goal to achieve “Gold”. This building is designed to be an efficient, comfortable, and healthy building. The incremental building footprint offset provides self-shading solar protection along the south and west facades. The east exposure continues the alternating glass and pre-cast concrete rhythm, transforming into large solar shading fins. The site orientation and curtain wall design will allow for maximum daylighting that translate into lower lighting costs and overall increased energy efficiency. The building HVAC system is also designed to provide increased ventilation and thermal comfort while reducing energy use with an Active Chilled Beam cooling system that is the first of its kind for the university. The HVAC condensate drainage will be reused as part of a “graywater harvesting” system to supply the restrooms with water for flushing the toilets. State of the art security measures are also incorporated that will allow for the multi-purpose conferencing spaces to be used for community events and outreach during weekends or after hours while ensuring the offices and laboratory spaces remain secure.

Videoconferencing capabilities are also incorporated into areas on every floor. The 5th floor conference room will have the capacity to connect directly to the Florida Department of Health for high speed collaboration and information dissemination. Specific resources include: a 6,800 ft2 behavioral lab module, a 1600 ft2 multi-purpose conferencing space, 2500 ft2 of active learning teaching space, 9000 ft2 of wet/dry laboratory space, and 2500 ft2 of Food Science/Nutrition teaching lab space. The overall design of the facility incorporates interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and information dissemination to provide a state of the art learning and teaching environment.

AHC5 will also house the Extreme Events Institute (EEI), International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC), Behavioral Health Labs, and the Department of Earth and Environment (E&E) in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Author: William-Jose Velez

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