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The Bridge for Laboratory Sciences

The Bridge for Laboratory Sciences opened in January 2016 and was dedicated in May. The project incldued the construction of state-of-the-art teaching and research laboratories in both new and renovated buildings to consolidate and unify the sciences into a coherent science precinct, creating a vibrant new community on-campus. The new facility centers on multi-disciplinary laboratories and program suites that foster collaboration between departments, researchers and students from different fields of study.

Construction & Design

In seeking LEED Silver Certification, the Bridge Building contains numerous sustainable design elements. The especially designed frit 'bird-safe' glass is one of the largest applications of this kind of material to prevent solar gain, reduce glare and deter birds.

The building’s high efficiency envelope results in a 26% reduction in energy use. LED and energy efficient linear lighting with occupancy sensors and daylighting controls reduce electricity use. The HVAC system operates on four variable air volume air handling units that each contain energy heat recovery technology to improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption.

To heat the exposed slab of the first floor hot-water fin-tube radiant panels are used beneath the floor.

Fitting in with the Campus Landscape

As both a figurative and literal bridge across campus, the Bridge for Laboratory Sciences spans the Fonteyn Kill which flows through campus. The wetland is in the process of being restored into a natural landscape. The building’s high performance facade is clad in fiber cement and stone and is inspired by the texture and horizontal striations of the dense tree-lined landscape.

The exterior fins providing solar shading on the outdoor patio, classrooms, offices and first floor atrium overlooking the Kill.

A rainwater cistern system collects water from the roof to be used for irrigation in the surrounding landscape and in the teaching greenhouse. This system along with an efficient landscape design which includes native and adapted perennials,grasses, shrubs and groundcovers reduces water usage by 74.4% and a 100% reduction in potable water use.

Learn more about the Sciences at Vassar and the Bridge Building here: http://bridging.vassar.edu/about/bridge/