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  Conard Environmental Research Area Education Center, Page 38Conard Environmental Research Area Education Center

300 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60606

Kellogg, Iowa
Total Square Feet: 9,508
Construction Period: June 2004 to Apr 2005 

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Holabird & Root LLC - 300 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60606
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Neumann Brothers, Inc. - 1435 Ohio Street, Des Moines, IA 50314
ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Holabird & Root LLC - 300 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL 60606
COST ESTIMATOR: The Weitz Company - 5901 Thornton Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50321

The Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA) is a 365-acre nature preserve -part savannah and part prairie - approximately 14 miles southwest of Grinnell College. Holabird & Root designed an education center for the study of native plant and animal habitat, as well as a maintenance building for storing field equipment. The CERA Education Center provides a large classroom, teaching laboratory, greenhouse and support spaces for classes in field biology and environmental sciences. In addition, the facility is available to the public and the College for more general studies including art and photography.

The Holabird & Root team carefully studied the siting of the building to minimize the disturbance of high quality prairie. Situated off of an existing gravel road, the building resides near the highest point on the site. The single story structure nestles into the topography to the north and opens up to the south, providing views of a majority of the preserve. Over the course of the design process, the footprint of the building was minimized with examination and refinement of the program. The parking area was decreased to place emphasis on carpooling and to preserve prairie.

The sweeping south glass wall opens the teaching spaces toward the grasslands to capture the view. Maximum exposure is south-facing for winter solar heating. A large overhang shades the south during the summer. East and west facades of the building are minimized, and contain minimal glazing to reduce solar gain and mechanical heat loads. Also, high performance glazing in the curtain wall system reduces solar heat gain. The building has a geothermal system; the ground source heat pump system is a renewable heating and cooling source.

A storm water cistern collects rainwater from the roof surfaces to flush toilets and urinals in the building and serves as an irrigation source for the greenhouse. The building has on-site sewage treatment with zero effluent. Pervious gravel for road and walking surfaces reduces the amount of storm water flows onto the adjacent site, maintaining the ecology as it was prior to construction as much as possible.

The building exterior facing is ground face concrete block with up to 40% post-industrial recycled content. Millwork and laboratory casework substrate is made of renewable materials. Up to 60% of the building's materials are comprised of recycled content. Interior designers selected low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants for the building.

The CERA Education Center is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(R)) registered. Grinnell College is seeking a Silver LEED Rating.

DIV 03:
Ground Face CMU: Trenwyth.
DIV 07: Insulation & Drainage Board: Thermadrain; Metal: Petersen Aluminum; Roll Formed by Poe Roofing.
DIV 08: Metal Doors: CECO; Wood Doors: Eggers Industries; Special Door: Overhead Door.

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