STEM Academy and Conference Center to use Green building technology during its construction

Tisha Arnold | Public Information

Designed by Moody•Nolan and Woods Group Architects, innovative site design strategies will be employed by using water efficient landscaping and maximizing open space that will ultimately provide a pedestrian friendly site that also welcomes alternative means of transportation. For water conservation, gray water from the roof runoff will be recaptured and channeled underground and stored in a reflective pool.

On Friday, November 16 the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) will break ground on what will be the first building of its kind on its campus – an Academy and Conference Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) majors using green building technology.

Funded primarily by Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965 under the U. S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program, the new building is projected to be 29,000 sq. feet and will institute green practices to substantially reduce the negative environmental impacts of the building through the development of high-performance building systems.

With Con-Real, LP of Little Rock managing the construction, the building will have a high performance skin composed of glass, masonry, metal wall panels and two insulation layers that will create performance by a minimum of 20% over the standard building structure. The building’s mechanical systems will be free of refrigerants containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) that could be released in the atmosphere. These chemicals destroy the earth’s ozone layer, harming this natural shield against incoming ultraviolent radiation. Day lighting will also be maximized to reduce the amount of electricity required for artificial lighting.

Building construction generates enormous quantities of solid waste. The building will use regionally available and rapidly renewable materials with recycled content such as wheat board, porcelain tiles, and metal interior wall panels to help reduce the impact of the environment caused by the demand of virgin resources. 75% of the waste that is produced during construction will be recycled, thereby being diverted from local landfills.

The groundbreaking will take place at 10:00 a.m. on L.A. “Prexy” Davis Drive next to the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) building. For more information about the event, call (870)575-7165.

The UAPB STEM Academy is a well-integrated set of enrichment programs designed to help meet local, state and national human resource needs in STEM areas. Currently, there are three enrichment initiatives, including the NSF-funded HBCU-UP Comprehensive Implementation grant which is foundational to the STEM Academy; the NSF-funded Arkansas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation which is reflective of best practices learned in the HBCU-UP STEM Academy; and the U.S. Department of Education funded M.Ed. Degree in Science and Mathematics Education Program.

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