Arnold, Maryland, USA
The Anne Arundel Community College Health and Life Sciences Building by SmithGroup promotes a culture of learning in both its approach to educating and training the next generation of science, nursing, and healthcare professionals and its commitment to the environment.
Anne Arundel Community College Health and Life Sciences Building has recently been awarded a 2023 Green Good Design Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
For 60 years, Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) has led the way as one of Maryland’s premier higher education institutions, fulfilling its mission to promote life-long learning.
From first-generation college attendees to working professionals, AACC’s expansive curriculum is as robust as it is diverse; it’s five schools offer more than 160 degrees and certificates combined.
While AACC boasts several top-ranked schools and programs—the School of Health Sciences is home to the #1 ranked nursing program in Maryland—the existing campus did not support a dedicated science hub.
Further, it’s 1960’s-era buildings required significant updates to support the 21st century technologies and learning environments befitting AACC’s first-class programs.
Now, with the new Health and Life Sciences and Biology Building (HLSB), the two programs are united under one roof and the College has a LEED Gold facility to match the caliber of its academics.
Paramount to the project’s success was to create a physical sense of place so students, faculty, and staff, most of whom commute, would feel a connection to campus and have on-site locations beyond classrooms and labs to study and meet with peers.
In this way, the project aims to create a sense of community, open and accessible to all the College’s constituents.
The new HLSB, along with campus-wide green space site improvements and a redirected ring road have transformed the East end of the campus, anchoring what is now a clearly defined Science Quad, while creating a new gateway to the College.
From the outset, the design process employed climate analysis and conceptual performance modeling to optimize orientation, sun-shading and glazing properties, daylighting, and the building’s thermal envelope.
These passive strategies, along with a highly efficient radiant cooling and dedicated outside air system design result in a 35% energy savings.
During concept design, a sustainability workshop enabled project stakeholders to establish a sustainability vision for the project: human health.
This informed the use of biophilic concepts throughout the project. Natural materials, such as wood, and textures emulate those native to the Chesapeake Bay region.
A glass wall between the interior learning commons—the Collaboration Gallery—and adjacent science quadrangle dissolves the boundary between interior and exterior.
More than 25% of the materials used in the HLSB are responsibly sourced, including products with high recycled-content, salvaged materials, and FSC-certified wood.
Low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce indoor water consumption by 42% and drought-tolerant landscaping eliminates the need for irrigation.
Bio-retention gardens accept all stormwater from the project roof, promoting infiltration and improving overall water quality.
Throughout the building, biology and computer labs, a Simulation Center, a white-box theater, a greenhouse, and a 160-seat lecture hall promote interdisciplinary collaboration and feature flexible spaces to mimic real-world scenarios.
Rooms dynamically change with operable partitions for individual consultations or group events.
Designed to promote a culture of learning, the new HLSB is forward-thinking in both its approach to educating and training the next generation of science, nursing, and healthcare professionals and its commitment to the environment.
Project: Anne Arundel Community College Health and Life Sciences Building
Client: Anne Arundel Community College
Photographers: James Ewing