A new science addition to the Davis
Street Building is the first new construction incorporating extensive green
technologies at The University of Findlay.
Growth in enrollment in
science-based degrees created an urgent need for new facilities. More than 2,000 students are enrolled in the Colleges of Sciences, Health
Professions and Pharmacy.
The new addition contains 19
science laboratories, four classrooms, a 112-seat lecture hall, a computer lab,
15 faculty offices, a conference room and a student lounge. It primarily houses
the biology program and related forensic science laboratories.
The new construction was completed
in June 2012, taking roughly a year to build.
According to Myreon Cobb,
director of the physical plant, the building has a number of energy-saving
The addition has a geothermal
heating and cooling system, which required drilling 40 wells in the flood plain
behind the building that drains into Howard Run creek. The system will take
only 5.6 years to pay for itself in energy savings.
The building is highly insulated.
The masonry block outside walls were filled with sand and sprayed with foam
insulation. The walls were finished with a brick veneer four feet from the
bottom and then insulated metal siding was applied on the outside of the rest
of the structure.
The building also uses computerized
sensors to adjust the amount of light provided, and every room also has a
motion sensor that turns on the lights when the room is occupied and shuts them
off shortly after no motion is detected in the room.
New, high efficiency electronic
light bulbs are used. Although the new bulbs are more expensive than the old
ones – which are being phased out by federal mandate – the University should
still realize about a 20 percent cost savings, Cobb said.
The laboratories are equipped with
sophisticated fume hoods that sense both human movement and the presence of
chemicals, so that the hoods run when necessary, but drop to low power or shut
off to save energy when not needed. The building also has an air handling
system that maintains a level of 10 percent fresh air at all times.
The building also was
designed regarding environmental impact. A system of piping is in place to
control rainwater runoff from the building. Buried underground to the west of
the addition is 300 feet of piping that is four feet in diameter, which will
hold water runoff. A drainpipe six inches in diameter controls the amount and
rate of water allowed to flow into Howard Run.
“It’s calculated big enough to
handle a 100-year rain,” Cobb said of the system.
The $11 million building addition
was designed by RCM Architects, with Charles and Associates as the general
contractor. Although the University didn’t pay the estimated $35,000-40,000 in
fees to obtain green certification for the building, criteria for the permit
were followed in designing and constructing the building, he noted.
The original 60,000-square-foot
Davis Street Building was purchased from Owens Community College in 2006 and was
renovated to accommodate the College of Pharmacy, the College of Education and the
The additional space provided by
the construction of the Davis Street addition has had a ripple effect across
With the biology program moving to the new addition, labs and offices
in the original Davis Street building are now available to the College of
Pharmacy, allowing them to meet accreditation standards for square footage.
Also, biology classes and labs that
were housed in Brewer Science Hall and Frost Science Center moved to the new
addition. This allowed for renovations that consolidated physics and geology
classes and labs on the second floor of Brewer and chemistry classes and labs on
the second floor of Frost, including the addition of a new chemistry technology
resource center for students.
Environmental, safety and occupational health
management facilities remained on the first floor of Brewer.
The 90-seat Martin Lecture Hall in
Brewer also received a facelift with new paint, new carpet, a new screen, a new
sound system and sound panels on the walls. Martin Lecture Hall was remodeled
in the early 1990s through a gift in memory of the parents of N. Susan
Bakaitis, Ph.D., former administrator and professor of chemistry, and this is
the first time it has been extensively refurbished.
The renovations were necessary in
order to serve students well and were paid for out of operational funds.