Building Design Choices at UVM

Pat Heffernan on August 21, 2010

University of Vermont

Image via Wikipedia

As pleased as I was to see the new Jeffords building at the University of Vermont featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, I must confess to being somewhat disappointed by the article. Although Dean Tom Vogelmann appears amiable and approachable in the first photograph, the remaining photos do little to convey the “functional elegance” of the exterior or interior design of the new home for plant biology, soil sciences, and life sciences at UVM.

The more important omissions to my mind, however, are details on the myriad steps and design choices made to enable a large building with teaching science labs to minimize its environmental footprint and to be potentially eligible for LEED gold certification. I yearned to know more about how that was accomplished.

True, the teaching landscape featured in the article is interesting, yet I’ve begun to fear we fall further behind in the battle to minimize the effects of climate change whenever we miss an opportunity to inform and educate.

I expected more from a building and grounds feature article in this publication for higher education. But then again, perhaps I’ll be more appreciative of specialized publications such as Greener Buildings News and Sustainable Facility.

Disclosure: I currently serve on the Board of Advisors for the UVM College of Agriculture & Life Sciences.

Post written Pat Heffernan on August 21, 2010 in Buildings & Environment,Change communications

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