Category: Institutional
Location: Lawrence, KS
Size: 2000 sq. ft.
Masonry Used: Over 100 tons of limestone tailings
Submitted by: Studio 804, Inc.

Project Description

In 500 words or less, explain the project and its unique use of masonry materials and techniques. : The Center for Design Research building, located on the historic Chamney Dairy Farm in Lawrence, Kansas, is a response to the emerging culture and support of sustainability at the University of Kansas. In congruence with the center's mission, which is to provide a location for interdisciplinary work between multiple schools, the new building will provide a facility that aids in the education of the university and community on sustainable strategies, material innovation and building efficiency.

The design for the new building implements sustainable strategies to maximize the potential of existing resources, minimize environmental degradation, create an environment that is safe, comfortable and efficient and provide an iconic representation of sustainability for the University of Kansas. The building will provide a space for professional collaboration and community education while displaying a wide range of sustainable strategies. In doing so, it will showcase the advances of green building technologies and products, serving as a standard for the future development of the University and Center for Design Research.

Noteworthy features of the 2,000 sf building include: a 34 foot long living wall of ferns on the interior which is watered with rainwater collected from the roof; an interactive display in the entrance that reveals the energy performance of the building in real time; a wind turbine coupled with a broad array of rooftop solar collectors tied into a “smart meter” system; the first regional car charging station and a façade of local Kansas limestone. Limestone was used to insulate and clad the building envelope as well as provide a heat sink in the form of a trombe wall located behind the glazed south façade.

The Chamney Farm complex dates back to 1912, and the main house and barn still stand today. To complement the existing stone language of the Chamney Farm complex, more than 100 tons of stone tailings were reclaimed from Kansas quarry sites. The use of limestone on the façade of the new building speaks to the permanence of the existing buildings on the site. By using stone tailings rather than cutting new stone, natural resources are conserved thereby reducing the load on landfills. Small and odd shaped tailings were reclaimed and hand cut into thin stackable pieces used for cladding both interior and exterior walls. To further diminish site waste, all scrap stone pieces from the cladding process were integrated as exposed fill along the north side of the building. The southern façade of the building is a combination of a limestone wall and a customized curtain wall system. Located behind the southern opening, the trombe wall absorbs the sun's energy during the day and radiates the stored energy at night.

The Center for Design Research is a model of sustainability for the campus and community alike. The use of limestone is a key element in the sustainable efforts of the center. The Center for Design Research is in the process of obtaining both LEED Platinum and Passivehaus Institute certification.

Project Participants

Architect / Designer's Name: Studio 804
Company: Studio 804, Inc.
Phone: (785) 864-4024

Structural Engineer' s Name: Barney Schwabauer
Company: Norton and Schmidt
Phone: (816) 421-4232

General Contractor's Name: Studio 804
Company: Studio 804, Inc.
Phone: (785) 864-4024

Masonry Contractor's Name: Studio 804
Company: Studio 804, Inc.
Phone: (785) 864-4024

Masonry Supplier's Name: Lardner Stone
Company: Lardner Stone
Phone: (785) 234-8634

Masonry Supplier's Name: U.S. Stone
Company: U.S. Stone
Phone: (913) 529-4154