01 September 2009

Carnegie Mellon University Dedicates the School of Computer Science Complex Designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

On September 22, Carnegie Mellon University dedicated the newly completed School of Computer Science Complex designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects of Atlanta, GA. Bill Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and chairman of Microsoft Corp., presented the keynote address at the dedication ceremonies.

Comprised of the Gates Center for Computer Science and the Hillman Center for Future-Generation Technologies, the 217,000 square-foot SCS Complex features classrooms, research space, offices, an auditorium, a public café and a large exterior terrace as well abundant new green space designed by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Cambridge, Mass. The buildings are characterized by plentiful natural light and a variety of informal gathering places designed to encourage the type of impromptu meetings among students, faculty, staff and visitors that have become a hallmark of the school’s highly collaborative culture.

In addition to housing one of the world’s leading centers for computer science education and research, the Gates and Hillman Centers serve as crossroads for the entire university community, with five main entrances and two major pedestrian bridges providing new connections to key parts of the 140-acre Carnegie Mellon campus. The buildings were built to be energy efficient and environmentally sensitive and aim to achieve a LEED Silver rating from the US Green Building Council. Environmentally friendly features include five green roofs, use of rotary heat exchangers called enthalpy wheels to limit energy loss in the ventilation system, and a system for collecting rainwater and snowmelt–“gray water”–for use in flushing toilets. The accompanying landscape more than doubles the existing campus green space and features 292 new trees.