In need of a new facility on their campus in southern Massachusetts, Bristol Community College was tasked with making their new state-of-the-art science building not only inviting, but also a model of sustainability. This 50,000 sq.ft. John J. Sbrega Health and Science building sets the standard as the first zero net energy (ZNE) academic science building in the northeastern United States, generating at least as much energy as it uses over the course of a year.
The building features two stories of teaching laboratories, community spaces and interactive classrooms, joined by a central atrium, providing plenty of opportunities for collaboration. The exterior and surrounding area improvements included new utilities, plazas, walkaways and plantings. Connecting the outdoor with the indoor space in the most unexpected way, the designer chose Unilock Promenade Plank Paver in Umbriano finish, creating a paved walkway that extends from the outdoor entrance all the way through the first floor and out the back exit of the building. Reflecting the history of Fall River mill buildings and the textiles produced there, the unique paving pattern, inspired by those textiles, creates a welcoming ambiance around the student lounge and perfectly aligns with the holistic approach taken to design this one-of-a-kind construction.