Project File: Back to its roots

The 15,871-square-foot Chino Valley Agribusiness/Science Technology Center at Yavapai College, Prescott, Ariz., is situated on an 80-acre tract that one day will be the Chino Valley campus. The center supports academic programs such as construction technology, agribusiness technology, biotechnology, equine studies, forestry management and golf-course management.

The building's aesthetic relates to the agricultural and ranching roots of the surrounding rural community. The cupolas that provide natural ventilation for many of the spaces reference historic milking barns that used similar strategies in their own designs. Deep overhangs that suggest the covered porches of old farmhouses protect windows from the harsh desert sun. On the interior, exposed ceilings and glu-lam trusses display building systems and construction.

The project addresses the site by restoring disturbed areas with native vegetation and collecting stormwater runoff in an engineered wetland. Water use is reduced through Xeriscape landscaping and rainwater harvesting for irrigation. Energy efficiency is optimized in numerous ways, such as daylighting throughout, solar hot water heating, a geothermal heat-pump system, operable windows and a comprehensive energy-management system. Overall, the building reduces energy use by more than 50 percent below standards.

The architect is DLR Group (Phoenix).

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