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University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg - Green Classroom Building
Greensburg, PA

Conceptual design competition entry for a new classroom building in support of a living and learning complex

Supporting the increasing programmatic classroom needs for residential and commuting students, this project concept contributes to the master plan for the campus. The concept for the master plan is to build on the slopes of Slate Run Creek Valley.

The immediate context for the building is the northern slope of the valley, above Lynch Drive, the historic access into the heart of the campus. This building site extends the current building patterns on the campus. It also links residential buildings with academic buildings; thereby, creating new open and defined space in what is now surface parking.

There are significant opportunities for ecological site planning. Beginning with the important decision to build well above the flood plane of Slate Run, the building will take advantage of the north-facing, 25 foot grade change of a 30 degree slope. This will permit the building to be built into the hillside in a way that permits a vegetated roof. The north exposure will allow us to capture daylight without any significant solar load. The proximity to Slate Run Creek will permit the capture of diurnal, micro-environmental air flows to ventilate and oftentimes, cool the building.