Aug 032010
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

What was once a run-of-the-mill parking lot in the Newton’s Corner area of campus is now the $45 million Behavioral Science Building that will be operational for the start of school.

“One of the comments we get from students is that there are not enough special places on campus,” said Brian Chase, director of Facilities Management.

The first floor of the four-story building is home to three themed smart classrooms and an IMAX-quality lecture hall, Chase said.
This area, he added, is filled with state-of-the-art and artisan features to spice it up.

The first room, styled after Colorado forests, is lined with topographical map wallpaper and has pine-wood features adorning the wall. The second is a distance learning classroom, which allows students to communicate with other classes virtually, has Mesa Verde features with red rock.

A farm-themed classroom, with a giant windmill hanging on the wall and crop circle wallpaper, is where scientists will experiment with top-of-the-line 3D technology.

Chase said some CSU professors have been “playing with it on the cheap,” but this is the first first-class set-up of its kind on campus.

The 3D projector cost the university about $50,000, said Norm Laurence, the building project manager. To properly use the equipment, 70 pairs of the high-end glasses were purchased for $400 and 70 pairs of the less-costly were purchased for $150.

Chase said when he tested the glasses he was able to “literally walk up and look into a projected skull,” and see double-helixes of DNA floating in mid-air.

The IMAX-quality lecture screen came in at about $23,000 and the hall itself has a ceiling lined with “clouds” that break up reverberation of sound that will come through speakers both behind the perforated screen and around the room, Chase said, clapping his hands to demonstrate.

The hall also offers a few plasma screen TVs, two smart boards and separated seating because students had commented on how crowded classrooms get, Chase said.

The first floor also offers both open-study areas and rooms to book that will serve as a library annex during the two-year expansion of The Morgan Library.

Separated by colored, laminated glass, the study areas surround a coffee bar where students can get food, coffee and smoothies throughout the day.

The naturally lit atriums, from the second to fourth floor, are lined with offices and Laurence said 85 percent of the rooms have access to natural lighting and are equipped with both motion and light sensors that control the electric lighting to conserve energy.

This, he said, is just one of the building’s LEED Gold standards.
LEED certification, the guidelines under the U.S. Green Building Council, has three levels –– Silver, Gold and Platinum –– and approval for a level is based on a point scale. Gold ranges from 39 to 51 points and the Behavioral Science building comes in at 46.

The points are awarded based on where the project falls on the spectrum of LEED specifications, such as sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality

Laurence said the building features parking spots for low-emitting, fuel-efficient vehicles, 58 bike parking spots, a white roof that reflects heat and, in-turn, lowers the cost of cooling the building and solar panels on the roof.

The building comes in at 31 percent more efficient than the baseline standards, which Laurence said are set for each building. The baseline standard for Behavioral Sciences wasn’t readily available.

The building will house general assignment classes but also be the central hub for the Psychology Department and the Human Development and Family Studies department.

The vacated offices for each department will be filled with part-time instructors and graduate students who didn’t have personal space previous to the move.

Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

BY THE NUMBERS:

$45 million
The amount it took to construct and furnish the building

$50,000
The cost of CSU’s 3D projector

$23,000
The cost of the IMAX quality screen

$400
The cost of one pair of the higher-end 3D glasses

*$150 *
The cost of one pair of the less-expensive 3D glasses

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