Montgomery College Rockville Science Center

A Home for the Sciences
Throughout design and construction, architects Burt Hill and Cho Benn Holback + Associates, and Clark Construction worked with the College’s Facilities Office to maximize energy efficiency and optimize new technology and building materials.
Dr. Judy Ackerman, Vice President and Provost, Montgomery College's Rockville Campus
Location: 
Rockville, Maryland
Client: 
Montgomery College
Architect: 
Burt Hill
Cho Benn Holback + Associates
Additional collaborations with Cho Benn Holback + Associates:
Contract Value: 
$55,346,000
Size: 
140,600 Square Feet
Year Completed: 
2011

Part of Montgomery College, the Science Center provides much-needed lab space for an increased number of students seeking affordable, high-quality programs in science, engineering, and mathematics. The 140,000 square-foot instructional building includes a four-story atrium, new laboratories, recitation rooms, and faculty offices.

Located on Montgomery College's Rockville Campus, the Science Center provides engineering and science students with greater access to enhanced learning environments and 21st-century labs. The facility's 29 new laboratories include 14 biology labs, nine chemistry labs and six physics/engineering labs. There is also a greenhouse and a rooftop observatory.

The façade features three main elements: glass curtain wall, brick, and aluminum composite rain screen. The ACM panels were designed with two alternating colors in a vertical orientation surrounding recessed curtain wall units with solid 0.125-inch thick aluminum recess jamb enclosures. There was very little room for error with this design.

Sustainability

A LEED Gold certified project, the Science Center's green features enhance the building's educational mission. Part of the architectural design includes eco-resin panels depicting elements of the solar system, hanging in the east entrance to the atrium, as well as a large ceiling fan that circulates air and accentuates the four-story ceiling. Outside, grass terraces serve as an outdoor classroom, and a dock provides students with direct contact to a pond or “living laboratory” for outdoor experimentation and data collection.

Other exterior features include native planting, extensive bicycle racks, a variety of seat walls, a green roof, and a greenhouse. In addition, the building includes high-efficiency chillers, solar panels, an underground cistern, and recycled construction materials.

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