Informally dubbed “The Building in the Trees,” the new three-story Georgia Southern University Biological Sciences Building has more than 158,000 gross square feet that houses five active-learning classrooms, 10 teaching labs and 15 research labs utilized by more than 1,300 undergraduate and graduate biology students. The new facility is in a heavily wooded area. General contractor for the project, Brasfield & Gorrie of Kennesaw, GA, cleared a minimal number of trees so that students walk in the woods before they walk through the doors.
Complimentary panel colors were chosen for the natural setting. The building’s roof incorporates 65,000 square feet of Petersen Aluminum’s 22 gauge Tite-Loc Plus in slate gray, and more than 30,000 square feet of Petersen M-36 panels were used for siding.
The siding panels incorporated both regular rolled charcoal (ribs out), and reverse-rolled silver. The architect, S/L/A/M Collaborative in Atlanta, chose to have the silver panels reverse-rolled (ribs in) to create a wider-looking flat panel.
Roofing panels were installed by Richter Contracting Company, Albany, GA. Siding panels were installed by Pierre Construction Group, Stone Mountain, GA. Both roofing and siding were supplied to these contractors by CRS: Commercial Roofing Specialties, College Park, GA.
Steve Vives, Ph.D., chair of the Biology Department, said the University’s goal is to make the building LEED Silver-certified and to use that certification as a teaching opportunity as well. “Those green aspects of the building are going to be advertised in the building,” he said. “We’re going to have some displays of power usage and water usage in real time so that other classes as well as ours can come in and actually use our building as a learning experience.”
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 125 degree programs serving more than 20,000 students. Aluminum metal panels for the project were manufactured in PAC’s Acworth, GA plant.