UTIA Energy & Environmental Science Research Building

At the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, BarberMcMurry partnered with Lord Aeck Sargent to design the new Energy and Environmental Science Research Building (EESRB). The four-story EESRB is a centerpiece and living research environment for students, with biophilic planters, a green roof “exterior living room,” and a research patio garden integrated into the design. The building also includes corridor engagement areas for students, faculty, and visitors to study, collaborate or relax between classes. 

Programmatic components in the building are divided floor by floor. The basement includes loading docks, mechanical systems and some research spaces that require dirty access and high bay doors. The first floor includes public-facing and large spaces, including auditorium-style lecture halls and a large, flexible multi-purpose space that the Institute can use itself or rent for community events. During the day, the space is a 500-seat teaching and learning center. It is served by a catering kitchen and large storage areas. At night, flexible design and modular furniture allows the ballroom to be easily converted from theater-style academic seating to round tables or open space. The large room can also be sub-divided into smaller breakout spaces. 

Upper floors include shared research spaces, classrooms, shared open offices for adjunct professors and graduate teaching assistants, conference and “huddle” rooms, individual offices, and support labs. Offices and collaborative spaces are grouped near windows, while laboratories — which often have sensitive equipment or low-light needs — are placed at the building’s core. 

    The project also includes design of a Surge building to accommodate research and classes as the existing Ellington building is demolished and the EESRB is constructed. Once the EESRB is completed, the Surge building will continue to house teaching and research laboratories, offices, classrooms and support spaces as other buildings on campus are renovated and improved. 

    The EESRB is designed with a physical and functional connection to the adjacent Biotech Research Facility, also designed by BarberMcMurry.

    Construction is estimated to be complete in late 2023.

    Type: New Construction

    Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

    Services: Architecture, Interior Design

    Use: Education

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