Two years ago, Lynda and Stewart Resnick donated $750 million to Caltech to support research efforts and the construction of a new laboratory building. New information provided by the Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign offers an update on the project.
The three-story, 80,000-square-foot Resnick Sustainability Resource Center, slated to break ground next year, will be focused on research in solar science, climate science, energy, biofuels, decomposable plastics, water and environmental resources, ecology and biosphere engineering. And in service of that mission, the project is to be built with materials that reduce its carbon footprint.
According to Yazdani Studio, the Resnick Center's atrium and grid shell will be composed of mass timber framing. An undulating glass curtain wall will be lined with aluminum fins, turned to shade the facade while maintaining access to natural light. A basement level will also be connected to the multi-story atrium, allowing daylight to penetrate below grade.
The building is also designed to limit water consumption, with a cooling system that will allow condenser water to be recycled elsewhere on campus. At the exterior, plans call for native landscaping to limit the need for irrigation, as well as the planting of up to 50 trees to sequester carbon emissions.
“Designing the Resnick Sustainability Resource Center is a humbling and exciting opportunity for our team. We will be creating a first-of-its-kind science building where the world’s brightest minds will meet to quite literally work to save our planet and its natural environment” said Mehrdad Yazdani in a news release. “This is a project you dream of as a designer. The building and the work it supports will have profound impacts on our world.”
Construction of the Resnick Center is currently expected to occur over a roughly two-year period starting in April 2022 and concluding in March 2024.
While mass timber has thus far been used in a limited capacity in Los Angeles County, the material may see greater adoption following the next update to the California Building Code, which is expected to legalize its use statewide. Other ongoing projects using mass timber include a new office complex rising next to the Chinatown Metro station.
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