Clark College - STEM
A Place to Learn and Be Inspired
The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) building provides an enhanced learning environment for Clark College students in Vancouver. Brightened by an abundance of natural light, the 70,000+ sf site features modern spaces that cater to the multi-disciplinary needs of students in the biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, and geology programs. This includes a drop tower for lab experiments, a 6-table cadaver lab for human anatomy observation, a technology lab, and multiple indoor-outdoor collaboration spaces.
The prominent, easily located staircases encourage students to use them when going from one floor to the next. This has the dual benefit of encouraging movement and reserving the elevator for those who need it. Additionally, the centrally located bike racks and lockers are intended to promote alternative transport options to and from campus.
Light and Outdoor Access
Research proves that quality lighting, specifically daylighting, has positive impacts on student learning and work performance. The STEM building maximizes the neurological, physical and energy savings aspects of daylighting, while minimizing any detrimental aspects, such as unwanted heat and glare. A rooftop plaza and an outdoor classroom provide alternative learning and studying venues in an outdoor setting.
Transparency into learning spaces allows for views of teaching and learning activities, generating additional interest in STEM programs of study. The increase of educational transparency between programs also helps to create a true cross-disciplinary atmosphere.
Successful acoustics are vital to the learning process. Areas of circulation benefit from the energy and sound of activity, while learning spaces need to enhance the spoken word and encourage focus. Additional care was given to dedicated and informal learning areas to create acoustically appropriate environments.
The project team was committed to building stronger communities through a commitment to sustainability. As a result, the project was awarded a LEED Gold certification. Special consideration was given to the following:
- Recycled Waste:
97.5% of construction waste was recycled.
- Brownfield Redevelopment:
The new building replaces an antiquated building that had outlived its useful life and contributes to improved environmental quality by addressing asbestos contamination in the soils, which was removed from the site for remediation prior to construction.
- Enhanced Commissioning:
Done to ensure the building systems are functioning as designed. Responsible Material Use: 50% of the wood used on the project was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Interior finishes selected meet stringent guidelines for VOC content.