Studio 804's new CDR building
The Center for Design Research's new classroom and conference center building was designed and built by students enrolled in the KU Department of Architecture's Studio 804. The full-time, two-semester, graduate-level course is led by Dan Rockhill, J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture. The students designed and constructed the building in its entirety in seven months, starting late in the fall of 2010. The building was dedicated in July of 2011
The motivation for the building was not just to fulfill a programmatic need, but also to create a place that would help educate the public about sustainable technologies, the importance of cross-disciplinary research, and the value of good design. It has received a great deal of attention in the architectural press, and helped University of Kansas maintain its leadership position in design research and the development of sustainable technologies.
The building features a wind turbine, smart-grid electricity metering, an energy-conserving plant-covered roof, photovoltaic panels, a rain garden, and an electric-vehicle charging system. Its south-facing facade captures heat inside a trombe wall, and it has a highly efficient HVAC system. The main conference room features a "green wall" planted with ferns under the three skylights and specially designed LED lighting.
The CDR building constructed by Studio 804 became a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Platinum-rated building in 2013. It was the first in Lawrence and at KU to receive the Platinum designation. The Center for Design Research has been published numerous times, including this feature story in Architect magazine.