Shifting economic times have created an increased demand for the classes and services offered by Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC). The enrollment increase has put a strain on existing facilities, particularly the college’s original Texas Township Campus. This addition and renovation project was designed to redistrict, expand, and refurbish campus areas for classrooms, labs, faculty offices, and student services, while providing additional parking and streamlining maintenance and material supplies to the 800,000-square-foot campus.
The addition brings all student services together under a single roof in a more streamlined organization to improve access to departments, aid in student enrollment and retention, and improve the overall student experience. The addition also houses a tiered, 150-seat lecture hall/orientation room and new central receiving/distribution facilities for the college. multilevel curvilinear forms of insulated metal panels, bands of green and blue glass, and locally manufactured ground-packed block are topped with a green roof on the lower level and highly reflective roofing materials on the upper level, both of which reduce heating and cooling costs. The green roof also helps to filter air pollutants and rainwater runoff, and insulates the building for sound. Vertical and horizontal sun screening over the glass curtain walls control the amount of solar heat gain, while creating a welcoming, airy interior filled with natural light.
The addition portion of the project was designed to follow the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System devised and maintained by the U.S. Green Building Council, with LEED Silver V3-level certification as a primary target. Both the addition and renovation were designed to minimize energy and water consumption and provide a healthy building environment with improved air quality.
The project’s overtly sustainable design is intended to inspire students and visitors as well as set new environmental standards for the college to follow on all future projects.