RDA begins its Spring 2022 Mass Timber Tour series with an exclusive visit to the recently finished San Jacinto College Classroom Building on Saturday, March 5, 2022, at 10 a.m.
The new San Jacinto College Classroom Building is a 122,242-square-foot mass timber structure on the college’s Central Campus. It was designed by Kirksey Architecture with Tellepsen as general contractor. The mass timber material components were sourced from Nordic Structures in Canada. The classroom building supports engineering, mathematics, College Preparatory, and early high school learning students. Except for steel bracing used for lateral support, the new three-story building is constructed entirely out of mass timber, making it one of the first in the Greater Houston Area. It is also the nation's largest mass timber academic building on a college campus.
The new facility reused portions of the 1950s era classroom buildings it replaced, like the existing foundations, bas relief panel, and exterior marble. Graphic bronze plaques were placed on the site to honor the demolished buildings' history, and a new lobby connects the facility to the existing Davison Building, creating a signature entrance.
Beyond the obvious sustainable features in utilizing mass timber for the structural frame, shafts, floors, and roof, the project also includes a powerful gray water collection system to tie into the college's central plant and offset make-up water requirements. Additionally, it contains 30,000 square feet of roof-supported photovoltaics and electrochromic glazing to help control glare and heat gains.
It also incorporates tubular daylighting to bring desirable natural daylight into the corridor and administration area at the building's core. The investment in these unique features will collectively make it the highest performing building in the district's 2 million square feet of existing facilities. Graphics and branding throughout the building put the sustainable features on display.
The new facility includes fifty-five instructional classrooms, a robotics lab, and a lecture hall with various academic support spaces for faculty. It consists of formal and informal student gathering spaces and a variety of traditionally under-utilized niches and corridor areas that students can use as impromptu study and hang out spaces instead of leaving campus. The building has a large event area for socially distanced presentations and a dramatic two-story lobby wrapped in warm black spruce wood panels for college-wide events. The design of these community spaces emphasizes the mass timber structure and put its beauty on display.
RDA’s tour will be led by Michelle Old from Kirksey Architecture. Join us to learn more about mass timber and its usage in the design of this exciting project.
Space is limited and RSVP is required. You must be a current RDA member 18 years or older to attend.