From its roots as the oldest technological research university in the English-speaking world, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute launched an ambitious agenda of renewal and growth. The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies is one of the breathtaking new facilities setting the tone for Rensselaer’s vision as a premier research university in the 21st century.
The building’s street front responds to the existing campus with the use of brick and limestone, while the south side takes on a more modern language. A ventilated L shaped atrium connects the lab program to the office and administration program via bridges on the upper floors and an interior pedestrian street on the main level. Separating the programs allowed a more cost effective design as laboratory space has very strict code requirements and is more expensive to build.
The building was also designed with energy efficiency in mind. The large atrium, which gives light to much of the building, requires no heating in the winter and no cooling in the summer. Natural ventilation is obtained through a series of soffit vents. Laboratories include heat recovery systems to trap heat and incorporate the most energy efficient lighting.