Last year, Oregon State University completed a long-range expansion plan for its Cascades satellite campus in Bend calling for the construction of entirely net-zero-energy structures on a former pumice mine and landfill.

The first major project of the initiative is now in the design stage as SRG Partnership works with Catena Consulting Engineers and construction manager/general contractor Swinerton on a four-story, 50,000 square-foot academic building.

A host of green strategies – including a photovoltaic solar array, an exterior shading system, radiant heating and cooling systems, gray water storage, and other active and passive systems – are expected to ensure the building produces more energy than it consumes.

“We’re pretty excited about this project for a variety of reasons,” SRG Partnership principal Carl Hampson said. “It’s very aspirational with what the university is trying to do.”

An ambitious master plan calls for the construction of dozens of new academic, residential and student life buildings. This first one, dubbed Academic Building 2 for the time being, will be used for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education.

All four floors will have learning spaces, including specialized classrooms able to accommodate curriculum-specific equipment. Laboratories and engineering spaces are planned, along with maker spaces for art, engineering, computer science, and outdoor product programs. Other collaborative, informal spaces will serve both staff and students.

The project is intended to be a model for the rest of the proposed net-zero campus. In part, this flexibility comes from the mass-timber structural elements, which allow for long interior spans and the ability to easily reconfigure interior walls.

Structurally, glulam beams and columns are being used along with cross-laminated-timber floor panels. Only the slab-on-grade foundation and shear walls at each corridor’s end will feature concrete so the project’s carbon footprint can be minimized.

Click here to read the original DJC Oregon article.