ASU's newest research building achieves LEED Gold certification


February 22, 2013

The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Arizona State University’s newest research center, Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4), with LEED certification at the Gold level – making it ASU’s largest LEED certified research building.

The 298,000-square-foot structure houses ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, Security and Defense System Initiative and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. ISTB 4 LEED Download Full Image

HDR, as executive architect, collaborated with architectural design firm Ehrlich Architects, on this uniquely sustainable research and laboratory building.

Formally opened in September 2012, ISTB 4 joins several other ASU buildings that currently participate in the council's LEED rating systems. Since July 2006, ASU has completed 18 certified LEED projects which are comprised of 36 buildings plus the second floor of the Memorial Union. To become LEED Gold certified, the buildings had to meet exacting standards for energy use, lighting, water and material use, as well as incorporate a variety of sustainable strategies.

The $110 million, seven-story ISTB 4 building achieved 46 total points under the LEED for New Construction version 2.2 rating system. In order to earn LEED Gold, a project must achieve between 39 and 50 points.

“The entire project team worked together throughout design and construction to make ISTB 4 a high-performance building that met its sustainability goals," said sustainable designer Matthew Cunha-Rigby. "The building had a complex, energy intensive program; and to be able to reduce expected energy use by almost half is a testament to the work of everyone involved in the project. This reaffirms that we have the ability to make well-designed, energy efficient buildings without significant impacts to the project. ISTB 4 demonstrates ASU’s leadership in campus sustainability and its commitment to a better future.”

One of the major project goals for the building was to reduce energy as much as possible. When fully occupied, it is estimated that ISTB 4’s energy use will be nearly one-half that of a typical laboratory building.

Some of the green design and construction features implemented in the building include:

• Optimal building orientation based on local climate conditions and a high performance façade with vertical sunshades to reduce heat gain and incorporate passive cooling strategies.

• Efficient Building Systems. The design optimized the building envelope and integrated extremely efficient mechanical systems to reduce energy use by 40.7 percent below a typical laboratory building.

• On-site renewable energy. ASU allocated energy produced by the photovoltaic array on the parking structure adjacent to ISTB 4, supplying an additional 11.6 percent of its energy use beyond the savings achieved by the building design. The renewable energy reduced the building’s energy costs by over 16 percent, because the peak energy load is also reduced.

• Minimized resource use. Local building materials, extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the site, exceeded 44 percent of the material cost under MRc5, Regional Materials. ISTB 4 earned an additional LEED credit for exemplary performance by achieving this threshold.

• Daylighting. The building envelope and the interior space are designed to admit natural light into as many spaces as possible, and a central atrium brings daylight deep into the building interior.

ASU has the largest number of LEED-certified buildings throughout Arizona and claims the top spot for achieving the state’s first-ever LEED platinum certification in July 2007 with the Tempe campus’ Biodesign Building B.

Nikki Cassis

marketing and communications director, School of Earth and Space Exploration

International humanities showcased at ASU's Night of the Open Door


February 22, 2013

With a world-class faculty offering courses in more than 20 languages and cultures, ASU's School of International Letters and Cultures is one of the most dynamic international humanities programs in the Unites States.

From 4 to 9 p.m., March 2, the school will participate in ASU’s Night of the Open Door. The event, spearheaded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, invites the public to the Tempe campus to participate in hands-on activities, attend presentations, and visit campus museums, classrooms and laboratories – places and activities that are not typically accessible to the public. Download Full Image

School of International Letters and Cultures' faculty and students will showcase cultural diversity and ASU’s global engagement by offering mini language lessons in 14 different languages, giving presentations about current cultural engagement projects and topics, and even guiding visitors on a virtual tour of ancient Rome using the digital “Rome Reborn” model.

Ancient Rome will also be the focus of the very entertaining mock Roman election, in which members of the ASU student organization Solis Diaboli (dressed in togas!) will campaign for votes. The audience will choose the winner by casting votes in ancient Roman style.

The school’s Juan Pablo Gil-Osle, assistant professor of Spanish, will also host two Flamenco guitar workshops for anyone interested in Flamenco music and culture. Feel free to bring your guitar to one or both sessions.

The school will also host another international musical activity – the quintessential of all Japanese entertainments – Karaoke, featuring songs from an international song list in various languages.

Cultural sharing continues on the Tyler Mall stage outside with belly dancing, an international fashion show featuring traditional dress from a variety of countries and cultures, and international musical performances.

The public is also invited to get a traditional henna tattoo, tour the school’s project-based language learning lab, learn one of the calligraphies of the world, or learn about the many world-class study abroad programs that the school offers for both students and the public.

“A major university like ASU is in the business of training people for careers, but it is equally in the business of educating citizens capable of making informed decisions about their lives and the society in which they live,” says Joe Cutter, director of the School of International Letters and Cultures.

During ASU’s Night of the Open Door, the public will have the chance to experience just how diverse and exciting our world society is and just how much ASU has to offer with its international humanities programs in the School of International Letters and Cultures.

The School of International Letters and Cultures is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.