Wentworth Institute Completes Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Sciences

Classroom, Engineering, Lab Building at Wentworth Institute of Technology /photographs: Albert Vecerka

Boston – Known for transformative higher education design, Leers Weinzapfel Associates recently completed the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Center for Engineering, Innovation, and Sciences, the growing Institute’s first new academic building in 45 years.

Opened in November, the four-story, 75,000sf center provides a home for the next evolution in the collegiate study of engineering, comprising a dynamic environment for multi-disciplinary collaboration among students of biology, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and two of the Institute’s newest programs, biomedical engineering, and biological engineering.

Wentworth Classroom, Engineering, Lab Building

Located on a midblock site at the heart of the institute’s urban campus, the center plays a pivotal role in the campus plan, acting as a filter between two sides of the extended campus—the quad and the city—and strengthens the pedestrian pike that links them.

The ground floor of the building is a transparent showcase that contains Accelerate, an interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial project-based program, as well as a high-end additive manufacturing lab. Floors two through four comprise laboratories, student learning and group meeting spaces, offices, and support/storage space.

Interior Wentworth Classroom, Engineering, Lab Building

Intended to be a visible demonstration of sustainable design, the center incorporates enhanced metering for the institute’s use and student demonstration. The project exceeds the City of Boston’s requirements of sustainability with a highly-efficient thermal envelope, including sun shading on the east, south and west facades, as well as mechanical equipment designed for maximum efficiency including low-flow fume hoods.

As the campus is vulnerable to flooding, resilience measures included raising the ground floor two feet above current grade and minimizing systems equipment in the basement. The building is designed to be LEED Silver Certifiable under LEED v.4.

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