The new $30.6 million School of Science and Engineering Building (SSEB) at the University of West Florida, Pensacola, promotes interdisciplinary collaboration, puts science on display, and has flexible laboratories. The design embodies the principles of Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), an advocate for building and sustaining strong undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs by transforming the learning environment.
The four-story, 94,719-square-foot building is configured in two masonry wings—one drum-shaped and the other bar-shaped—joined by a four-story atrium of glass supported by steel trusses. The drum-shaped wing accommodates a 1,000-square-foot, 17-foot-high holodeck, a virtual-reality classroom.
The SSEB is targeting LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Among its sustainable strategies: daylighting, user-controlled sunshades and tinted glass to control glare, photovoltaic panels, occupancy sensors, diversion of construction waste from landfills, filtered stormwater detained in an on-site detention pond, dual-flush toilets and low-flow lavatory fixtures, and low-VOC finishes.
The building has become a campus destination as well as a passageway from the university’s Pensacola campus core to a new green space whose edge is defined by the building’s south and west faces.
Architect is Lord, Aeck & Sargent (Atlanta).