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Talks Scheduled on Sustainability and the New Engineering and Molecular Sciences Building

A daylong collegewide series of events on Thursday, October 28, culminating in an evening forum, will extensively explore the environmental sustainability of Smith’s proposed new building for engineering and molecular sciences, scheduled for construction beginning in 2006. The series will culminate in a community forum in the evening, with comments by President Carol T. Christ and a panel of professionals involved in the building’s design and sustainability.

The 136,000-square-foot engineering and molecular sciences building is being designed by the architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. An important dimension of the building will be its innovative design, which will promote energy efficiency using renewable resources for construction and relying on natural elements for climate control. In addition to providing ample lab and classroom space, the building itself is intended to serve as a teaching tool through its sustainable construction. The building’s sustainability initiatives will include green roofs, porous pavement, vegetated swales, use of shading for natural temperature control, and environmentally responsible mechanical systems. Ford Motor Company has made a generous leadership gift of $10 million in support of the project.

Details of the building’s sustainability will be discussed throughout the day. The series schedule is as follows:

Noon–1 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room
Brown bag lunch with students and panelists from the evening forum, including a discussion on sustainability and the greening of campus, from the college landscape architect, and architects and mechanical engineers for the new science buildings. There will be an opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns. Lunch provided. Sponsors: Office of the President; College Sustainability and Operations committees.

1–3 p.m., Visits to Campus Classrooms
Building architects and others will attend classes to discuss sustainable design issues.

3–4:15 p.m., Sabin-Reed 101C
Building architects, mechanical design engineers and sustainability specialists from Carnegie Mellon will meet with faculty members regarding possible demonstration projects in the building and using the building itself as a teaching tool for sustainability studies.

7-9 p.m., Graham Hall, Hillyer, Brown Fine Arts Center
Community forum to discuss the new building, with comments by President Carol T. Christ. Forum panelists will include Natalie Gentile, architect with Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Don Russell, Environmental Quality Office, Ford Motor Company; Vivian Loftness, sustainability consultant for Carnegie Mellon University; Dave Madigan, mechanical engineer with vanZelm, Hayward and Shadford Incorporated; and Robert J. Golde, landscape architect with the firm Towers/Golde. Each participant will give a presentation, followed by a question-and-answer period. The forum will be moderated by Donald Baumer, professor of government and chair of the college’s Sustainability Committee. Sponsored by the building’s Sustainability and Operations committees.

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