HG designed an entrance that combines sustainability, stormwater as an amenity, and learning opportunities for the study program. Early in the concept phase, HG suggested bio-retention features as an attraction for users to encounter upon entering the research facility. A bridge over a bio-retention area connects parking, sidewalk and front doors, and serves as a ‘living lab’ for science students to be educated on natural material as water filtration. HG designed a tiered outdoor classroom down to the river, and implemented several naturalized micro stormwater management amenities and native planting around the building in place of typical landscaping.
Research for bridge material includes locally harvested black locust lumber, and interpretive signage were implemented to highlight the function of the bio-retention areas, which not only treat stormwater from the building roofs, but provide habitat and naturalized frontage for the facility. The project is pursuing LEED Silver certification.