This new student housing building at Union College adds 80 beds to their campus housing, via a fast-track design-build project. The site planning and building configuration were determined through a multi-concept study early in the project’s inception.
We assessed the plausibility of numerous building layouts, including orientation, number of floors, massing, and space programs, to arrive at the final concept design. The design was further shaped by existing site constraints, budget, timeline, and the desire to design in a highly contextualized manner. We worked closely with Union College Facilities, Residential Life, members of the Student Forum, the Design-Build Contractor and the City of Schenectady throughout the course of the project.
Sustainable initiatives are a primary focus of the campus. The building utilizes a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system. The orientation of the building and operable windows foster daylighting and natural ventilation. Power is supplemented by PV arrays on the rooftops. The students can see the impacts they are making - on the building’s energy use - via an interactive information kiosk tied to the building management system, in the front lobby.
The apartment-style configurations provide private bedrooms, alongside bathrooms, storage, a kitchen, and a living room, within each 2, 3, and 4-bedroom apartment. Common spaces include study rooms, informal “community” seating areas, a large multi-purpose room, and exterior porches and backyard patio. These amenities promote socialization while providing areas for the Residential Life staff to conduct programs.