The new Horticulture Center is almost finished! Although the interior is largely complete and some staff are beginning to move in, there is still some landscaping, paving and punch list items that remain. I was able to take a tour last week and was impressed by the beauty and design of this building. The new Hort Center, slated for LEED Certification is designed to take advantage of the natural sunlight for both aesthetic and energy efficiency effect. You can see from the first picture that the large storefront windows allow indirect light in the office area and wooden slats provide shade so that the sunlight does not penetrate directly into the space and cause glare and heat gain.
This second picture is a slightly different angle and a more close-up view of the window system. The extensive use of glass and stone on the exterior and the interior of the building minimize the difference between the interior and exterior environments of the building. I imagine the experience working in the building is like a conditioned outside office.
Another interesting feature is the use of rain chains that you can see in this picture at the corner of the building. These chains hang straight down the gutter as a minimalist alternative to downspouts. They add an aesthetic appeal and are used widely in Japan.
Finally, you can see that the sedum on the the extensive green roof is starting to take root and grow from this picture. Thanks to our Director, Paul Meyer, for these photos!