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William McDonough + Partners Bring C2C Design to Colombia's Universidad EAN

Image credit: William McDonough + Partners

William McDonough + Partners are bringing the Cradle to Cradle revolution to Latin America with the launch of ‘Project Legacy’ at Colombia’s Universidad EAN in the El Nogal district of Bogotá. The project will see the construction of a 20,000 square meter building that will illustrate the possibilities of design for the circular economy and the integration of a Cradle to Cradle-focused curriculum into the university’s business and engineering programs.

Project Legacy will embody the university’s dedication to environmental awareness and draw attention to the principles of Cradle to Cradle. The new building, which is targeted to achieve a LEED® Gold rating, will feature repurposed, recycled and reused materials, as well as highlight the natural beauty of the mountainous landscape. Importantly for the region, the building will also celebrate the qualities of color, light and shadow that are unique to Colombian culture.

“It’s not a building that could be in any city. It doesn’t look like a building you’ve seen before, because it’s a celebration of the colorful expression of the students and faculty of a place that will experiment constantly with surprise and delight,” said William McDonough, architect and founder of William McDonough + Partners.

The design’s most prominent feature is the WonderFrame™ shade structure, a reusable and recyclable space-frame-inspired installation originally devised for the ICEhouse™, a temporary structure built for the 2016 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The design team includes PAYC as construction manager and AIA as the executive architect. Additional collaborators include Eco Intelligent Growth (EIG), Acustec, ADRAR, AGR, Aqualab, Gaia, GBCG, MTS, PyP Proyectos, SETRI and SES.

The UEAN WonderFrame is a modular, multi-functional building system designed for quick assembly and constructed of commonly available materials. The metal frame is clad with multi-colored perforated panels, metaphorically invoking tree leaves. These triangular panels provide shade while simultaneously admitting daylight, demonstrating both material and energy efficiency. Covering roughly 85 percent of the facade, the WonderFrame will stand as the largest installation of this modular building system to date. Window glazing was chosen for energy effectiveness, as well as high acoustic control.

Colombia has a rich, diverse culture, so for Universidad EAN, the goal of our design has been to not only inspire those coming through the school, but to also inspire the district and all of Bogotá,” McDonough said. “It is a milestone for a university to adopt Cradle to Cradle in its curriculum and I am excited to see EAN stimulate the next generation of entrepreneurs with this kind of circular economy thinking.”

Natural ventilation for the new building will be aided through solar chimneys, which draw air through the building and exhaust it at the roof. Operable windows will be featured on all facades. Zones along the main street will provide mechanically ventilated and filtered air when outdoor air quality and ambient noise levels require it. The building will be one of the first to implement a new Verification Protocol for Engineered Natural Ventilation Systems in Equatorial Climates, developed by Bogotá-based environmental engineering consultants for the Colombia Green Building Council to standardize the use of natural ventilation as a LEED energy effectiveness strategy. This new protocol has been accepted by the U.S. Green Building Council as an Alternative Compliance Path toward the achievement of energy credits within the LEED rating system.

William McDonough + Partners will include Cradle to Cradle Certified™ and Forest Stewardship Council-certified products throughout the building and have partnered with Colombian manufacturers to bring newly-designed products to market. Given the central role Cradle to Cradle products play in the LEED v4 Materials and Resources credits, which became the new standard late last year, the use of certified products will greatly facilitate the attainment of these credits in pursuit of LEED.

“At Universidad EAN, we are embracing the Cradle to Cradle approach of quality material health, efficient energy use, clean water, social benefit and most notably for our business school, circular economy asset management,” said Herbert Perico Crissien, President of the Board at Universidad EAN. “The design for Project Legacy aims to stimulate creative thinking and encourage further innovation, whether through developing new products in the engineering curriculum of creating new companies in the business and finance curricula.”

The new building, which will break ground in the third quarter of 2017, will provide physical and biological sciences laboratories, classrooms, administration offices, seminar rooms and special function rooms, including a cafeteria, indoor basketball court, exercise gym and an auditorium seating 500 people. A large ground level plaza and exterior terrace at the sixth floor also provide opportunities for outdoor use.


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