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Science Building Wins Top Landscaping Award

Sarah Swann


science bldg exterior.jpgWillimantic, CT - The Science Building at Eastern Connecticut State University won the top award for 2009 from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (CTASLA) on Dec. 10, 2009. The CTASLA conducts the Connecticut Design Awards each year to recognize excellence in landscape architectural design, planning and analysis, communication and research. 

The science building features a terraced bioswale and circular entry courtyard with faux bridge gateways that serve as a central hub to the campus's open space. Native and adaptive plants are placed all around the science building. The main entrance to the building is located at the southern end to draw pedestrians farther into the open space and the welcoming courtyard, which is used by students to socialize.    

"The science building has a unique design appropriate for the landscape and for Eastern's green campus commitment," said Nancy Tinker, director of facilities management and planning. "The building is very efficient. The bioswale slows down the rainwater that runs off into the drain system, which is better for the environment. The landscape plans were developed with managed meadow areas, and native and adaptive plants that eliminate irrigation requirements and reduce maintenance considerations."

The facility meets U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) certification standards, which sponsors the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performances measures. To attain LEED silver certification for Eastern's Science Building, storm water design points were enhanced with the bioswale approach.


Science Building -dpw image.JPGEastern's 178,000-squarefoot, six-story science building opened in September 2008. All science and mathematics departments are located in the building. Prior to its construction, science and mathematics departments had been scattered across seven separate buildings on campus. In addition to classes, the science building also has a 150-seat lecture hall; sophisticated audio-visual systems; a state-of-the-art greenhouse; high tech laboratories; and a science library. 

S/L/A/M Collaborative of Glastonbury, which offers architectural design and master planning in house landscape architecture, served as architects of the science building. Kyle Slocum of Glastonbury was the project designer. Purcell Associates, also of Glastonbury, served as civil engineer and O & G Industries of Torrington was the general contractor. The planting and irrigation of the science building was done by Country Gardens in Bristol. The facilities stone was supplied by Windham Materials, LLC in Willimantic.    


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