UMass Amherst to Celebrate Multi-Department Design Building Being Built with Wood Structural Systems

*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

DATE:         Friday, Oct. 16, 2015

TIME:         10 a.m. to noon

WHAT:       Construction Celebration, New Design Building

WHERE:     Former Parking Lot 62, next to Studio Arts Building

State and University of Massachusetts officials will celebrate construction of the $52 million Design Building, a state-of-the-art teaching facility being built with innovative wood construction technologies and featuring exposed structural and mechanical elements to demonstrate techniques.

The building will be made with renewable and recyclable materials. Sustainable features are included throughout, from low-flow water fixtures to lights that turn off when sensors indicate a room is empty. Heating and ventilation systems will be highly energy-efficient, and space will be left on the roof for possible installation of solar panels.

A “green roof” outdoor courtyard and garden will help prevent storm-water runoff and maintain moisture, keeping the building cooler and reducing air-conditioning. The rainwater retention system will collect water from the roof and channel it to bioswales, landscape elements that filter out pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

Event speakers include UMass President Martin Meehan; UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy; State Rep. Ellen Story; UMass Amherst Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic AffairsKatherine Newman, and Joseph Naughton, University of Massachusetts Building Authority director of capital projects.

The 87,000-square-foot building, which will open in 2017, will house three academic programs from three separate colleges, Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; the Department of Architecture from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the Building Construction Technology program from the College of Natural Sciences. 

All present at the celebration and ceremonial groundbreaking are invited to sign a support beam that will be used in the building. A reception will follow.

Press should park at nearby Franklin Dining Commons.