Engineering Building Construction Applies Entrepreneurial, Environmental Perspectives

Posted: May 8, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Academic VI Building
Artist’s drawing of the new building going up on the Fairfax Campus known as Academic VI.

By Dave Andrews

At a university that prides itself for its high level of innovation and entrepreneurship, it’s only fitting that the new building for the Engineering Building combine the two characteristics.

The state-of-the-art, 180,000-square-foot building, known as Academic VI on the drawing boards, will be the largest academic building on the Fairfax Campus. It will combine academic space with 20,000 square feet of corporate lease space, making it the only building of its kind throughout Virginia’s public university system.

Building Patiot Pride logo

Ground broke last July, and construction is on schedule to be completed in the spring of 2009. The building features a central atrium with conference rooms and student lounges on each floor. The areas provide space for individual and group study, as well as student and faculty interaction with the local businesses.

But the real news is that Academic VI is the first building on campus to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. LEED is a certification program that sets the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-tech, environmentally conscious buildings.

“The building’s users and visitors will learn about a variety of sustainable measures that yield financial benefits to Mason by reducing energy and water consumption,” says Lenna Storm, Mason’s sustainability coordinator. “The building will become a symbol of Mason’s commitment to sustainability.”

With a LEED certification, developers estimate the building’s domestic water consumption will be reduced by 37 percent. At least 50 percent of the construction waste will be directed to a recycling center rather than a landfill. And the landscaping will feature all native plants to reduce water consumption and the need for irrigation.

Approximately $56.5 million will be invested into the project, half of which comes from state funds and the remainder through research grants, lease payments and donations.

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