Design College breaks ground on new pavilion

Ross Boettcher

The College of Design will have a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday for the new 23,500-foot pavilion to be placed on the north side of the current College of Design facility.

Steven and Barbara King, ISU alumni, have donated $1.5 million to the $6.25 million project. As founders of Landscape Structures Inc., a leader in children’s play equipment, the Kings felt it was time to a give back to a place that held a very dear place in each of their hearts.

With an emphasis on creating Iowa State’s first “green” structure, building practices such as natural ventilation, daylighting, storm-water control with a “living roof,” unique site design and recycled building materials will all help make the pavilion unique.

Kevin Nordmeyer, of RDG Planning and Design, said the most important part of planning the structure came in the interviewing process.

“The first thing we did was to interview the students, the faculty, the staff and the administration from the College of Design,” Nordmeyer said. “We just asked them questions about what they liked and disliked about the current structure and what they wanted to see happen for the future of the design program.”

Even after the interview process there were still many key issues that needed to be addressed, including where the building should be located around the College of Design.

“We looked at schemes on both the south side of the building and the north side,” Nordmeyer said. “In the end, we decided that we wanted to integrate the students into the current College of Design, and by building the addition on the north side, we are able to do that more efficiently.”

Some key facets of the building’s design will come in the form of the aforementioned living roof and by the usage of natural cotton insulation.

Nordmeyer said the living roof will help reduce rain-water runoff and keep the building cool, all while giving passers-by something nice and natural to look at.

“The green roof, or vegetated roof, has a soil mixture placed on top with native plant species that require no maintenance grown in it,” Nordmeyer said. “When storm water lands on the roof, 80 percent of that water is used by the plants so we only have to deal with 20 percent of water runoff.”

Nordmeyer said this will help make the building energy efficient.

“Because it will only be used for few weeks in fall and spring, the winter weather should help keep the pavilion naturally cool,” Nordmeyer said.

On the inside of the structure, the natural cotton insulation will be used – a large portion of which is comprised of recycled blue jeans.

The construction of the College of Design’s pavilion will be based on regulations set by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, a protocol that measures the sustainability of the structure itself.

Currently, Iowa State is renovating Morrill Hall in hopes that it will also become a LEED-certified structure.

Dean Morton, university architect for ISU Facilities Planning and Management, said Morrill Hall and the College of Design’s pavilion are not the only projects that are currently in the works for making Iowa State University more of a green campus.

“I think in terms of those two structures [Pavilion and Morrill Hall], it’s a symbolic thing in getting our first [LEED]-certified buildings,” Morton said. “We have been trying to emphasize the importance of the sustainable building for a long time.”

Morton said there are other buildings that may possibly be green.

“Right now we’re in the design process of a $75 million chemistry building just north of Davidson Hall, and we have every intention of having that be a LEED-certified building as well,” he said.

Along with the $75 million sanctuary for ISU chemists, a $100 million, three-building biorenewable project is in the foreseeable future of the university.

“The three-building complex will be comprised of a research lab, agricultural and biosystems engineering department and a parking deck,” Morton said. “Both of these new projects we have set a goal for silver LEED status, but ultimately we would like to obtain a gold status and have it as green as possible.”