Studio Arts Building

Studio Arts Building Exterior

Project Overview

No LEED Certification
Completed: July 2008
Architect/Engineer: Gund Partnership, Inc.; LeMessurier Consultants
Project Manager: Burt Ewart

Project Purpose

The $25M Studio Arts Building provides 50,000 gross sq. ft. of instructional studios, as well as individual faculty and student work spaces. The instructional studios accommodate several functions including printmaking, sculpture, painting and ceramics.
The building also consolidates other workshop spaces, including a woodshop and a metal-working shop, in the same location as the other related studio facilities.

Sustainable Features

Materials: For the outside areas, the project team reused existing pavers that were installed in front of Hills academic building. Although this required some extra care and effort, it reduced both the amount of landfill-bound material and the amount of raw materials that would be required to produce and transport additional bricks. Inside the building, the concrete is comprised of fly ash, a recycled byproduct of coal and oil combustion, as an alternative to traditional Portland Cement. Fly ash improves concrete workability, and reduces the amount of water required.

Waste Management: The contractors employed methods to reduce waste materials generated on the site, by collecting recyclable materials to reduce debris sent to landfills. After the project was completed, material disposal continued to be an important part of the building’s sustainable efforts. Since the activities it supports produce large quantities of hazardous and toxic waste, it is part of the EH&S Reuse and Exchange Program to recycle and reuse specified chemicals, and store only small quantities in the building. This system is crucial to reduce negative environmental and health concerns, and also reduces the cost of operation, as EH&S provides the chemicals for free to participating UMass units.

Water management: The project features low-maintenance, drought-resistant plant materials to eliminate the need for an irrigation system. Storm water that is collected on the site from hard surfaces, such as pavement and roofs, is contained in a 3,000 gallon underground tank to regulate the water flow into the campus drainage system, reducing the potential for overflow at the Campus Pond. This also helps to reduce the need for ever-larger storm water collection systems and waste water treatment facilities on campus. Inside the building, water use is controlled as well, with restroom fixtures that feature hands-free faucets and flush valves, and utilize low gallon-per-flush toilets and urinals.

Energy Measurement: The mechanical and electrical systems are constantly monitored and managed by the campus Energy Management System, to provide real time information. They are also equipped with alarms that alert management when systems are not functioning properly and when energy is being used in excess.

Indoor Environmental Air Quality: During construction, the contractors employed techniques to reduce dust and fumes emitted both inside and outside the building. Once the facility was occupied for use, it needed to be equipped with advanced exhaust and ventilation systems that ensure a high air exchange rate with outside air. This reduces human exposure to contaminants that are routine byproducts of the activities that take place at the Studio Arts Building daily. These systems typically use a tremendous amount of energy. In order to lessen energy demands, the exhaust air is routed through an Energy Recovery Unit (ERU). In addition to ventilation and reduced energy consumption, other small-scale measures help to maintain healthful air quality. Mats at building entrances reduce dirt, dust and pollens tracked into the facility, and hard polished concrete floors do not readily absorb allergens and contaminants. They are easily maintained with non-toxic cleaning products, and do not emit any harmful gasses themselves. In order to guarantee optimal air quality conditions, CO2 sensors regulate the amount of ventilated air circulating through any given space.

Lighting Design: Almost every room has access to natural daylight through exterior windows. South-facing windows are equipped with louvered sun-shading devices that allow winter sun into the building, but shade inhabitants from summer heat rays. Operable windows throughout the building provide natural ventilation when weather permits, and offer a manual method for swiftly evacuating toxic fumes. In addition to advanced daylighting strategies, artificial lights are equipped with occupancy sensors to limit excessive energy use.

Studio Arts Building exterior rear.
Studio Arts Building front exterior
Studio Arts Building atrium with student at table.