The University of Vermont
Located in the heart of campus behind University Row, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Initiative represents the largest investment in new facilities in UVM’s history.
The project includes two new conjoined science buildings—one for teaching, one for research—connected to an adjacent engineering building via an elevated pedestrian bridge.
Phase I of the project welcomed its first students in August, 2017. It includes Discovery Hall, a new state-of-the-art research and lab facility, as well as major renovations to an adjacent engineering building, Votey Hall. Phase II of the project, Innovation Hall, is dedicated to classrooms and office space and opened in August 2019.
Labs and research spaces are spread across Discovery Hall’s five levels. The basement and first floor were optimized for low vibration levels, which are crucial for sensitive electron microscopy and laser spectroscopy research as well as the state’s only open-research clean room. The upper three floors are a mix of teaching and research labs, offices, and study areas, all shared by physics, engineering, and chemistry to facilitate collaboration and cross-disciplinary learning. Mechanical systems in the penthouse include cutting-edge ventilation and heat-recovery systems to minimize energy use.
The LEED Silver (minimum) design is the second collaborative effort between Design Architect and Lab Planner Ellenzweig of Boston, Massachusetts and Freeman French Freeman, Architect of Record. In 2010 the two firms completed James Jeffords Hall, home to UVM’s plant biology and soil science programs.