ISU's College of Design can move forward on building addition, says Board of Regents

AMES, Iowa - The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, has approved the preliminary design for an addition to Iowa State University's College of Design building. The $6.25 million, two-story Foundations Pavilion project will provide critically needed space for instructional studios.

Sustainable design practices, which minimize or eliminate a building's negative impact on the natural environment, are being used in the design and construction of the Foundations Pavilion. It is being designed to reduce energy, water and resource consumption and use renewable construction materials. For example, daylighting is maximized in the design.

design addition

The 23,361-gross-square-foot addition will be located on the north side of the existing college building and will include 15 studio classrooms, primarily for first- and second-year students. The name-Foundations Pavilion-refers to the core program for all first-year students in the college, and the foundation courses for second-year students (first-year, professional program students).

"For several years, as many as 600 freshmen have spent their studio time in the Armory building because there simply isn't room in our building," said Mark Engelbrecht, dean of the College of Design.

"We're very pleased to receive the board's approval to move ahead. Not only will the addition allow us to better serve all students under one roof, it also gives us the opportunity to use the building as a living laboratory for the study of sustainable environmental systems," he said.

The Foundations Pavilion will provide the site for the King Laboratory for Sustainable Design Practice, a program in which students can study sustainable environmental systems using the building addition as a learning medium. The laboratory is named for Iowa State alumni Steven and Barbara King, Maple Plain, Minn., who gave a $1 million gift last year to help fund the building's construction.

Depending on funding, the addition could have a vegetated "green" roof, which would lower cooling costs, extend the roof's life expectancy and reduce storm water discharge. Other sustainable practices involving site development will become a part of the project over time.

The addition will be built of silver or gray metal panels, exposed concrete and aluminum-framed window areas to provide natural light into the building interior.

Construction is expected to begin in September and occupancy is planned for January 2009.

Other features of the Foundations Pavilion include:

  • A new prototyping laboratory in keeping with the college's plan to develop a product design program
  • A central, two-story flexible studio area surrounded by instructional studios on both sides
  • Break-out lecture and critique spaces
  • A model work room and spray room
  • An expanded Design Cafe
  • Instead of air conditioning, natural ventilation and an evening ventilation cycle will cool the studio spaces, which will not be used in summer

"Throughout the process of the design, we have held charrettes and conducted interviews to gain input from students and faculty," Engelbrecht said. "All along, the goal has been to make the process of sustainable design as educational as the final-built facility. We hope to continue this engagement with them during the final design and construction."

The building was designed by RDG Planning and Design, Des Moines. Others on the project team are The Weidt Group, Minnetonka, Minn.; Conservation Design Forum, Elmhurst, Ill.; Holabird & Root, Chicago; Charles Saul Engineering, Des Moines; and Stecker-Harmsen, Ames.