Sciences center receives best educational facility award from General Building Contractors Association Twitter
By Bryan Hay
Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center has received a 2020 Construction Excellence Award in the Best Educational Institution category from the Philadelphia chapter of the General Building Contractors Association (GBCA).
Rockwell was one of 19 construction projects in various categories in the Philadelphia area cited by the trade organization for their “highest level of craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail, and motivating teamwork.”
“Beyond acknowledging the innovation and collaboration represented in the finished projects, the Construction Excellence Awards program also recognizes GBCA members who have made a distinctive mark in the industry through their dedication to safety, diversity, and technological advancement,” the announcement said.
Specifically, the GBCA, one of the nation’s oldest trade associations, noted that Rockwell “was delivered under budget with superlative quality” and called out its “dramatic four-story atrium with an interconnecting monumental stair and an open-air courtyard to create indoor and outdoor study spaces for students and faculty.”
The award announcement also acknowledged that Lafayette’s new sciences center is one of the lowest-energy use academic buildings in the country and earlier this year received LEED Platinum certification, the highest recognition awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council for sustainable, energy-efficient design and construction.
Opened at the start of the fall 2019 semester and dedicated Sept. 30, 2019, Rockwell offers a signature space for the biology and computer science departments and environmental science and environmental studies programs. It also houses the Bradbury Dyer, III ’64 Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Daniel and Heidi ’91 Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education, Office of Sustainability, and additional space for neuroscience. The $75 million five-story building is the largest capital project in Lafayette’s history.
Named for Trustee Emeritus S. Kent Rockwell ’66, who made the lead gift, the sciences center was a key component of the College’s Live Connected, Lead Change fundraising campaign, which concluded in December 2018.
Rockwell encourages collaboration between students and professors among the three buildings. A café and additional indoor and outdoor study spaces also are available for student and faculty use. The facility has fundamentally changed how Lafayette combines the liberal arts and sciences by providing spaces for interdisciplinary engagement and room for expansion as the College grows.
The glass, brick, and steel building, offering sweeping views of campus and College Hill, was designed by Boston-based architectural firm Payette, which was instrumental in guiding the design to the highest certification level. Turner Construction Co. constructed the building and worked diligently to earn the necessary construction credits.