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University of Massachusetts
Project type
Academic & Healthcare,
Urban Plazas
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Amherst, MA
Pedestrian, Permeable

At the University of Massachusetts Amherst a select 1,500 (half of the 3000) students enrolled in the Commonwealth College get to experience a first of its kind living/learning facility. This 500,000 sqft complex known as the CHCRC (Commonwealth Honors College Residential Complex) is the largest single construction project the University has tackled at one time. A LEED Gold project, CHCRC is made possible through the collaboration of William Rawn Associates Architects, Stantec Landscape Architect, and Dimeo Construction Management. Located in the heart of Campus CHCRC is comprised of six buildings ranging in height between 4 and 6 stories focused around a series of courtyards. This new housing area includes undergraduate residences, faculty residences, classrooms, administrative offices, and the first 24 hour café on campus for students to study and grab a quick meal with friends. “CHCRC will help to improve an already excellent program”, Priscilla M. Clarkson, Dean of Commonwealth Honors College, has stated.

“This new complex will serve as a visible representation of the commitment of this campus to academic excellence and will help attract even more students to the program.” Running between the buildings is a large linear plaza. Unilock was able to collaborate closely with the Landscape Architect, Stantec, to help develop a permeable solution with the linear design. Four colors were chosen to further accent the materials on the new buildings. After learning about the benefits of Unilock’s EnduraColor™ the University chose to go one step further and made the upgrade. This plaza helped to achieve the LEED Gold design by keeping over 20,000 sqft of sustainable pavers produced locally. Expert installation was provided by Valleycrest Landscape Company, specializing in design, installation and Maintenance. It has been a group effort between manufacturers, design teams, and installers that help to make this project, the largest single construction project at Umass, a Success.

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