Germanna Community College's Science & Engineering Building Information Commons, Fredericksburg, VA, Clark-Nexsen, 2012


Completed in 2012, Germanna Community College’s Science & Engineering Building Information Commons provides new classrooms and laboratories for chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering students. The 51,458 square-foot facility located on Germanna’s Fredericksburg campus also includes a much needed central Learning Resource Center for students and faculty. Clark Nexsen provided numerous services, including architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, plumbing, fire protection, and structural engineering.

The new science classrooms are connected to state-of-the-art laboratories which include environmental chambers for on-going uninterrupted research and experiments. In the Learning Resource Center, students have access to computer stations and quiet study zones as well as traditional library services that house approximately 12,000 volumes and a multimedia center. The building also includes faculty, IT, and security offices with separate break and conference rooms for the staff.

This project presented a unique opportunity to be creative and incorporate low-impact development to treat stormwater, which included the implementation of a green roof and a paved courtyard that drains into a bioretention area. Sustainable features, which have led to the project’s LEED Silver certification, include a wind turbine and smart energy management controls and displays that are integrated into the main lobby of the building to help promote and teach sustainability.

The new facility has won several awards, including the 2013 IES Tidewater Section Illumination Award of Merit, the 2012 AIA DC Chapter Design Award’s Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design, and the 2012 American School & University Architectural Portfolio award for Outstanding Design.