Kingman Island Environmental Center
In 2005, a team of students, CUSP faculty, and adjunct professional mentors competed in the Kingman Island Environmental Center Competition to design a new environmental education center for the organization. The CUSP team reached the competition final.
The strategy driving the design of the Environmental Center was to marry simplicity of means with an innovative approach to designing buildings. With the use of basic construction technologies, the goal was to create the feeling that sustainable architecture is easy to construct, while creating distinctive architectural spaces.
Technologies included in the design of the building were composting toilets, shading louvers, photovoltaic panels, solar hot water heaters, radiant flooring, and passive cooling. The challenge was to not only use these both passive and active technologies in innovative ways, but through their use, create an educational opportunity for visitors. Their use was made apparent throughout the design of the building, inviting the public to understand the systems of the building through exposure and direct physical contact. The idea of sustainability becomes “real” as opposed to an abstract idea.