Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.78
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Tech
IN-48: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Nathan King
Sustainability Manager
Facilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Creativity and Innovation District Student Engagement in Sustainable Design 2020

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Virginia Tech is currently building a "Creativity and Innovation District (CID)" on the eastern portion of campus near the town of Blacksburg. This area includes several current buildings like the Moss Arts Center, Squires Student Center, Newman Library, Media Building, ICAT (Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology), and several others. However, a new 234,000sqft residence hall will serve as a focal point for students, faculty, and staff to gather and merge creative ideas in a community that spans the arts, design, sciences, and engineering. It is a truly unique concept for Virginia Tech that gives students the opportunity to develop in a living-learning community tailored to the universities strengths.

However, what really makes the project unique and innovative is how the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS), Student Affairs, the Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure, and Facilities, and a host of additional partners, collaborated to design key areas of the residence hall. CAUS students have been heavily engaged in the design of the student lounge, faculty apartment, and maker space of the CID LLC. This type of student-led design build project has been rarely used across the United States and is probably the first in Virginia. The course was integrated into the CAUS curriculum and involved undergraduates as well as graduate students. It represents an investment of almost $1 million into CAUS students throughout the process.

The first CID LLC student design class was held in Fall 2019 by Dr. Lisa Tucker in interior design and challenged students to work through opposing viewpoints, meet compliance codes, and balance environmental concerns with sustainable materials. These students were able to get valuable hands-on experience working with faculty, staff, and other professionals involved in the CID project. They were able to utilize new technology such as virtual reality headsets to visual concept designs of the student lounge area. Their final proposal was a successful biophilic design that utilized natural materials like green reindeer moss to dampen sound and plenty of natural lighting through large windows. They also incorporated other sustainably sourced materials that mimic the natural environment of the New River Valley where Virginia Tech is located.

This successful design process involving students, faculty, and staff is continuing with the faculty apartment and maker space architectural designs. Most notably the award-winning FutureHAUS concept (https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2018/11/eng-caus-futurehausresults.html) is being utilized in the design of the 2,700sqft faculty apartment that incorporates smart technology. The CID is scheduled to be completed by summer 2021. The residence hall will accommodate 600 students and is designed around the 2 living-learning communities (arts and entrepreneurship). "Virginia Tech’s LLCs connect students’ academic and co-curricular experiences to create a supportive, dynamic learning environment that becomes home. Critical to the LLCs and Virginia Tech’s residence life programs are apartments that allow live-in faculty to be fully immersed in the interdisciplinary activity within the district and engage with students in ways that enrich the dynamic academic community. Common spaces and strategies for interconnected circulation will encourage students to interact at every scale of the building and contribute to a high level of energy and engagement. The building and landscape are designed to create a strong sense of place in alignment with the new Virginia Tech Master Plan. Visual openness, intentional pedestrian connections, and a variety of landscape spaces will connect the building and landscape to the larger CID district and its anticipated CID Green."


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Curriculum
Campus Enagement
Buildings

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.