Project File: Focusing on sustainability

The $18 million, 68,000-square-foot addition and 10,000-square-foot renovation of Dixon Recreation Center at Oregon State University (OSU), Corvallis, adds a three-court gymnasium, an 11-lap-per-mile running track, several large multipurpose rooms, a large weightroom and a wellness suite.

Sustainability was a focus of the project. The new space was organized around a multi-level “fitness hall” that spans the existing buildings and provides natural daylighting.

New skylights, constructed of translucent light-dispersing materials, diffuse light. Interior film applied to existing skylights reflects heat and minimizes glare.

Concrete masses absorb daytime heat gain and re-radiate via nighttime flushing to minimize temperature fluctuations. High-performance windows minimize heat gain and maximize light transmission.

A light-gray roof cap sheet reflects heat and bounces additional light to the skylights. Compact fluorescent bulbs in the gymnasium, controlled by photocells that integrate with natural lighting, minimize the use of electric lights.

The architect also took steps to minimize construction waste, toxic materials and long-term operating costs. It worked with OSU staff, faculty and students to create a building that meets and exceeds the university's needs while maximizing energy conservation, maintaining indoor air quality, and making use of as many recycled materials as possible.

The lead architect for this project is Yost Grube Hall Architecture (Portland, Ore.).

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