Science IV Appears on Cover and Featured Article for American School & University's "Modern Makeovers" March Issue
Ashley McGraw’s Deep Energy Retrofit and renovation of Binghamton University’s Science IV was featured on the cover and featured article for American School & University’s March 2019 issue on “Modern Makeovers.” The article spotlights how schools and universities are finding that there can be a lot of life left in their older facilities. Instead of defaulting for shiny new facilities, many institutions are deciding the best path is to breathe new life into an older building with a modernization that embraces a facility’s link to the past while providing learning spaces that accommodate the needs of 21st-century students.
At Binghamton University’s Science IV, our challenge was to transform an energy-intensive, visually mundane, 77,000-square-foot 1973 classroom building into an efficient, integrated, and welcoming element of the college campus. While respecting the overall form and composition of the existing structure, we explored options for a facade treatment that would provide a new, welcoming aesthetic direction for the building complex. Having considered terra cotta and brick, we settled on a new metal rainscreen system that allowed us to economically introduce fresh materials, colors, and textures to the exterior. Now, the Science IV building is an animated composition that’s in sync with the surrounding structures.
The building also had a dismal energy record, particularly in efficiency and thermal comfort. To remedy this, we undertook a deep energy retrofit: original windows were replaced with dual-pane, thermally-broken units, a blanket of insulation wrapping the exterior proved the optimal solution for improving the thermal performance and air-tightness of a historically-leaky exposed concrete façade, and the metal rainscreen system protects and refreshes the exterior.