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Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex- Northeastern University

This 234,000 SF laboratory is constructed on an urban brownfield site that consisted of a surface parking lot set between two garages, the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) forms the initial phase of a long-term vision to link the University’s Huntington Avenue Campus with Columbus Avenue, span the MBTA and Amtrak rail lines, and connect the Fenway and Roxbury neighborhoods. The design challenge solved the problem of limited room for growth on the main campus; the ISEC is located in a 660,000 SF academic precinct across the Amtrak/MBTA rail lines. A sloping landscape leads to an accessible path across the train tracks with a pedestrian bridge that flows into the core campus. The ISEC building is rotated to align with this path, negotiate the slope and invite student traffic through an atrium scaled to serve as the new student hub for an expanded campus.

The ISEC is designed to use 75% less energy than a typical intensive research building (103 EUI) and will provide the University a projected 33% energy cost savings. Parametric design and energy modeling helped create a high-performance architectural form that, coupled with innovative energy recovery and conservation systems, drastically reduces building energy usage. The project also reduced potable water use for flushing by over 70%.

The ISEC, housing a vibrant interdisciplinary research community, is shaped by faculty neighborhoods and wide-open, flexible laboratories that surround a six-story atrium, or melting pot, at the heart of the new academic precinct. A mix of wet labs, dry labs, and computational space on each floor support interdisciplinary research teams.


Photo Credit: Warren Jagger Photography

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