As a result of master planning efforts, the first step in the realization of a fresh campus vision is a new 54,000-gross-square-foot Industrial Technologies Building commissioned for a community college, on their Peosta campus. A unifying precept of the campus plan and the building design is the development of a pedestrian courtyard that employs the building as a mediator between vehicular activity and the pedestrian campus. Nestling the building into a hillside aided program placement by assigning the large shops to the lower level of the facility, hidden from public view. Here, a diesel shop for servicing full-length tractor-trailers and a 12-hoist automotive shop are encased in durable cast-in-place concrete. In contrast, the light-gauge metal-framed northern section and glazed southern half of the upper level rests delicately atop the heavy concrete plinth. Clad in corrugated metal siding that draws from the surrounding rural environment, the laboratories for CNC machining, welding and HVAC instruction occupy the north end of the upper level while classrooms, offices and a student lounge complete the program to the south. This glazed southern half serves as a beacon to the public, appearing as a floating lantern at night.
The design focuses intently on using the most appropriate materials for the condition, and using such materials only where necessary. The design team created an environmentally responsive design through stewardship of building material selections, including continuously insulated cast-in-place concrete walls with non-conductive pultruded fiberglass ties, low-e insulated glazing units, thermally broken curtain wall systems and continuous outboard insulation along metal framed walls. The building systems, including structural components and HVAC distribution systems, were intentionally left exposed inside the space to aid in the project’s usefulness as a learning tool, based on its unique vocational program type.