Project of Distinction Winner 2012 Education Design Showcase
||Facility Use: College/University 2-Year Institution
Project Type: New Construction
Category: Whole Building/Campus Design
Location: Edison, NJ
District/Inst.: Middlesex County College
Donald R. Drost Executive Director of Facilities Management
Completion Date: January 2011
Design Capacity: 501 students
Enrollment: 269 students
Gross Area: 36,000 sq.ft.
Space per pupil: 133 sq.ft.
Site size: 2 acres
Cost per student: $19,960
Cost per sq.ft.: $278.00
Total project cost: $11,500,000
Building construction cost: $7,470,000
Site development cost: $920,000
Furniture & equipment cost: $1,500,000
Fees and other: $690,000
For nearly 50 years, Middlesex County College, a two year community college in Middlesex County, N.J., has provided an affordable access to higher education. The school strives to promote learning, strengthen the community and appropriately prepare students for success. More than 65% of enrolled students are from surrounding communities, and the College has a local economic impact of $62.5 million annually.
In April 2009, Middlesex County College retained DMR Architects to provide architectural and engineering design and construction administration services for the new David B. Crabiel Hall on the school’s main campus in Edison, N.J. Named for the late Middlesex County Freeholder, Crabiel Hall is now an integral part of campus, and helps the College successfully achieve its mission.
The College’s campus is part of the former Raritan arsenal. Crabiel Hall replaced a two-story, wooden structure constructed in 1941. The vision of the project was to create a new, state-of-the-art facility to supply critical educational space. The ultimate project objective, to provide a safe, efficient and healthy environment for the nearly 13,000 students enrolled at the College, was achieved. In addition, Crabiel Hall, the campus’ newest building and first green building, appropriately links the College’s past, present and future.
When the College began their plans to replace the former West Hall with a new academic building, several key issues were outlined. In addition to working within a specific budget, DMR was mindful that the College intended for the building to be occupied in time for the winter semester. In addition, the building’s design solution needed to address site concerns, with regard to complementing the exteriors of the adjacent buildings. Finally, the College envisioned the new academic building to serve as a joint facility, and provide a central gathering place on campus. DMR successfully addressed each of these issues in the design, and Crabiel Hall currently fulfills each of the College’s requirements. Not only does Crabiel Hall serve the academic and social needs of students, but the building also provides space for faculty and staff, as well as campus and community events.
Crabiel Hall, prominently located at one of the campus’ two main entrances, completes the enclosure of the West Green and provides a visual buffer to two campus parking lots.As the project site was located so close the central location of campus parking, it was imperative that the construction phasing permitted the implementation of design with minimal disruption to these existing parking lots. Student and staff circulation from these parking areas was carefully studied to develop the safest route for pedestrian circulation around the parking site.
Crabiel Hall features a two story entry pavilion and an illuminated focal point that can be seen from various locations on the west side of campus. The orientation of the building takes advantage of the southern exposure for general classrooms, and provides ambient, glare free northern exposure for the computer labs. The vernacular style of the building exterior draws upon the rich history of the site by utilizing brick and pre-cast stone as major components of the design. Use of multiple brick colors and implementation of brick detailing further connects this building to the roots of the existing campus. The remainder of the project site contains landscaped outdoor space for use by students and faculty.
The 35 buildings on the 182 acre campus of Middlesex County College are a combination of buildings added throughout the school’s history and those developed by the U.S. Army from 1918 to 1963. An important component of the design of Crabiel Hall was for the exterior to appropriately complement the surrounding buildings. This goal was achieved with the end result, a 21st century facility, whose exterior materials are a strong complement to the campuses other buildings. Classrooms and meeting rooms in Crabiel Hall provide views to the campus and nearby ecological park.
Attention to the exterior façade on all four sides of facility was of particular design importance. The building, a gateway to the campus, is accessible from two, large rear parking areas. This posed a design challenge, as it was important to create a direct entry way from the primary parking area for students, faculty and visitors. The solution was an interior, central corridor which serves as a connecting walkway from the rear to the front entrance of the building.
The 36,000 square foot academic building includes 13 general purpose classrooms, a 1,500 square foot office for the Division of Corporate and Community Education, four computer labs, one culinary demonstration lab, two conference rooms, three meeting rooms, a student lounge and administrative spaces. The configuration of the building includes zones to allow for group seminars and events to occur without disrupting the academic program functions of the facility.
During the design, the priority was to design the most efficient educational space for students. This required several specific architectural elements. The design of Crabiel Hall focused on socio-constructivism, which conveys an environment of co-learning and co-construction of knowledge. These implications required that DMR consider the whole campus as a learning space, rather than focus on individual classrooms. Throughout each design concept, a focus on learning was paramount. Key elements of this effort included flexibility, comfort, sensory stimulation, technology support and de-centeredness.
Design components of Crabiel Hall included creating spaces capable of quick reconfiguration so classrooms could easily transition from traditional lecture to group work to independent studying. Tables and chairs in the classrooms were selected to move easily.
The design also considered comfort, as an uncomfortable environment is a significant distraction from learning. During design, it was important to consider different body types and sizes, as well as the length of time students must sit without moving. These efforts also reflected the amount of space necessary to properly support writing and materials, such as computers and books.
Sensory stimulation was another key aspect of design guidelines and an emphasis was placed on creating natural spaces with color, interesting shapes and task-appropriate lighting. Control for adjusting levels of lighting in different parts of the room was included in each classroom.
Of critical importance in an academic building is technology support. Seamless technology use was crucial, especially considering the constantly evolving uses of technology. Academic spaces in Crabiel Hall include wireless capabilities, network capacity for several devices and plenty of access to power.
Additional design considerations included white boards around each room, collaboration software, video conference capabilities and teacher desk-height stations and projection screens in the corner of the room to free up board space and optimize line of sight from the professor to the student.
Crabiel Hall is currently in construction review and is awaiting a LEED® Silver Certification from the United States Green Building Council. From the beginning of the design phase, special attention focused on organizing the building and program on site to take advantage of natural lighting and the path of the sun. Sky lights were included to provide day light to corridors. Energy efficient glass curtain walls were used to supplement the brick massing where orientation permits. Larger expanses of glass were used to bring diffused light into the teaching spaces.
Other sustainable aspects include occupancy sensors in each room, day lighting, drought resistant plantings, high tech air conditioning units and boiler and a highly reflective elastomeric roof coating. In addition, Low-VOC materials were specified and installed in construction documents to ensure that VOC limits were stated in each section where adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpet systems, composite wood and agrifiber products were used.
Water use in Crabiel Hall reduced 55% from a standard design through low-flow fixtures, waterless urinals and sink faucets. Energy use reduced 24% through efficient, correctly-sized mechanical equipment. 97% of all construction waste was recycled and 100% of materials were manufactured locally to reduce emissions during transport.
To further utilize the building as a teaching tool, DMR designed a series of educational signage highlighting the sustainable aspects of the building. Signage throughout the building highlights the building’s special features and sustainable aspects and further educates students, faculty and visitors concerning sustainable design.
Crabiel Hall was completed on time and within budget. Students began occupying the $11.5 million facility in January 2011, one year after breaking ground and less than 18 months after design began.
Throughout the design process, DMR placed great emphasis on the involvement of faculty, staff, administrators and board members. Through numerous meetings, DMR welcomed their input and utilized their experience and expertise in higher education to complete the facility. This effort included review of each program component, space requirements and refinements to established standards, and greatly contributed to the project’s success.
David B. Crabiel Hall is an efficient, aesthetically pleasing and fiscally responsible facility that will continue to serve students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors from around the State of New Jersey for years to come.
|1) Control of Institution: Public|
2) Type of Institution: Traditional
5) Joint/Shared Use: Designed as a Joint Use Facility
6) Community: Designed for Community Functions
Methodology & Standards:
|Primary Source: Primary Source: State Appropriations|
Project Delivery Method(s):
|Principles Followed: LEED|
Certifications Obtained: Other (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver)
Site Selection and Development: Site Selection (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver); Stormwater Management (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver); Building Orientation (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver)
Water Conservation: Water Conservation (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver)
Energy Efficiency and Conservation: Energy Efficiency (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver); Building Automation/Energy Management Systems (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver)
Materials Use: Recycling/Reuse (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver); Sustainable Materials Selection (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver)
Indoor Environmental Quality: Use of Daylighting (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver); Electric Lighting Systems/Controls (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver); Acoustics (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver); Indoor Air Quality (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver)
Teaching Tool: Building as a Teaching Tool (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver)
Commissioning: Building/systems have been commissioned (In Certification process for LEED NC 2.2 Silver)
Associated Firms and Consultants:
|Educational Planning: DMR Architects|
Interior Design: DMR Architects
Landscape Architecture: Remington & Vernick
Construction/Project Management: Epic Management, Inc.
General Contractor: Arco Construction
Electrical Engineer: Concord Engineering
Mechanical Engineer: Concord Engineering
Civil Engineer: Remington & Vernick
Food Service/Kitchen Consultant: Hopkins Food Services
Cost Consultant: DMR Architects
Code Consultant: DMR Architects
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