New Science Building
Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky University’s New Science Building houses the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, Science Education, and the Division of Natural Areas. The building includes teaching laboratories, computational labs, faculty and student research laboratories, classrooms, seminar rooms, faculty and student organization offices, and a greenhouse. A key design objective was to create public spaces that display the sciences and encourage interaction between the departments and the wider community. Chemistry classrooms and laboratories were positioned so that instruments can be shared easily; biochemistry labs are situated near molecular biology labs to facilitate close collaboration. The science education classrooms on the ground floor open to an outdoor classroom. The Physics and Astronomy spaces include studio laboratory classrooms so classes can be taught in inquiry-driven mode. The space is designed in a way that hands-on, discussion and explanation will be seamlessly interwoven in classrooms that facilitate collaborative learning.
Phase 2 of the New Science Building achieved LEED Gold certification through measures that include:

  • Lab casework materials chosen for their physical aesthetic and pre- and post-consumer recyclable content.

  • Full-height glazing on the west, east and north facades that bring light into adjacent spaces. Borrow lights allow daylight to penetrate further into the building.

  • An exterior envelope aesthetic that includes cast-in-place concrete, brick, zinc panels and a high-performance glazing system, offering a reliable, long-term lifespan and durability while reducing glare and solar gain and maximizing daylight opportunities.

  • Roof groundwater re-directed to retention basins around the site, allowing planted natural grasses to flourish and minimize the impact on the stormwater systems. The retention system eventually ends in a storage tank that can be used for greenhouse irrigation.

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“I just walked the halls of the NSB and am so inspired…In every nook and cranny I saw a group of students working on Science... More students are succeeding in class...The number of D, F and W students fell 48% to an all time low... We attribute it to all the things the building brings including tutoring, lab orientations, and a positive daily outlook for students and faculty. This building is performing exceptionally well. Words can't really describe what it means to us. Thank you does not seem to be enough.”

Lori Wilson, Ph.D. - Professor and Chair Department of Chemistry, Eastern Kentucky University

WOULD YOU GET MARRIED IN A SCIENCE BUILDING? Click here to read the story of one couple who did.