Teaming for a new CSU Engineering Building

Clif Carey :: Monday, July 20th, 2009

Earlier this year RATIO Architects was fortunate to be selected from a field of over 50 teams to design a new engineering building on the campus of Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CO. The building will be approximately 100,000 square feet and will exceed LEED Gold standards with a goal of being a zero energy facility.  Our team includes the Denver firm of SLATERPAULL Architects.  Think of this as the first of several posts regarding this, with this as the “announcement” version.

According to a statement by the University, the new building will contribute to recruitment and retention of students and faculty and will support academic, research and outreach programs. “This building will allow us to integrate our mission to provide education, discovery, outreach and service.  It is an important step as we transform Colorado State University to a new kind of campus – one that is sustainable and provides education and discovery to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”

CSU’s College of Engineering is home to five academic departments: Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Atmosphere Science.  In addition, the College of Engineering is the lead college within an interdisciplinary School of Biomedical Engineering.

“Each academic department has already played a key role in shaping the building’s program by participating in multi-day, interactive design sessions,” said Rob Proctor, AIA, LEED AP, principal for RATIO. “As the RATIO /SLATERPAULL/ team is designing the project, feedback from key user groups will determine the building’s form and function. In essence, we’re using a design process that is real-time. ”

This type of collaboration for the design of an academic building is fairly common place for us.  But what makes RATIO Architects particularly good at this is our experience on both sides of the fence – we’ve been design architects on some (like this one) and the Architect of Record on others (like the IUPUI Campus Center we did with Smith Group out of Washington, D.C.).  Collaborations can be tricky.  It needs to be as seamless as it can, and offices with similar cultures can make or break the effort.

So far, our teammates from Denver have been very supportive.  Stay tuned for future updates on our collective efforts.

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Monday, July 20th, 2009 Clif's Notes on Higher Education

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