Western Washington University
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Science and engineering facility at Western Washington University aims to be net zero energy building

May 7, 2023
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled later this month on the Bellngham campus for Kaiser Borsali Hall.

 Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., is scheduled to break ground later this month on Kaiser Borsari Hall, the university's new electrical and computer engineering, energy science, and computer science building,

The university says Kaiser Borsali Hall will be the first publicly funded zero-energy academic building on a university campus in Washington State.

The facility is designed to be a "smart building," exceeding LEED standards for energy use, carbon, and other environmental indicators. The university will pursue certification through the International Living Future Institute.

Building materials will include sustainably harvested wood from the region. Classrooms, labs, and collaborative spaces in the facility have been designed to support people with diverse abilities and learning styles. The project team is targeting Living Building Challenge Energy Petal Certification. All of Kaiser Borsari Hall’s electrical power will be generated by solar panels on the roof and offsite.

At about 54,000 square feet, the facility will provide modern teaching spaces and experiential learning environments, along with teaching labs, learning research labs, active learning classrooms, collaborative space, and academic administrative space.

The facility is named for Fred Kaiser and Grace Borsari, who have committed $10 million to the project, The university also has received $53 million in state-appropriated funds for the building.

Construction will continue through 2024, with completion expected early in 2025.

The architect is Perkins&Will, and the general contractor is Mortenson.

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