New Buildings Lay Foundation for Nicholas School’s Future Cutting-Edge Technologies
the dust is settling
After years of planning and construction, the Nicholas School of the Environment opened two new buildings this year and is nearing completion of major renovations on another.
The 70,000-square-foot Duke Environment Hall, located on Duke’s main campus in Durham, opened April 10.
The 12,000-square-foot Orrin H. Pilkey Research Laboratory, located at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C., opened May 4.
Renovations to more than 13,000 square feet of laboratory and office space in the Levine Science Research Building should be finished this academic year.
The new buildings and the renovations incorporate cuttingedge green technologies and design. They provide the school with much-needed space to expand its teaching and research programs and keep pace with rising student enrollments, which have grown more than 50 percent since 2007.
“This major expansion of our facilities would not have been possible without the support of Duke University leaders, the Nicholas School Board of Visitors, hundreds of friends and alumni who share our commitment to fostering a sustainable future, and—last but not least—the dogged perseverance of my predecessor in the dean’s office, Bill Chameides,” says Dean Alan R. Townsend.
“All members of the Duke and Nicholas School communities,” he says, “should take pride in knowing that together, we have built a foundation upon which the Nicholas School can continue to grow for decades to come.”
a living laboratory
The centerpiece of the new expansions is the $40 million Duke Environment Hall. Designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum standards, the highest level of sustainability, the new five-story hall houses the 105-seat Field Auditorium, five classrooms, a 32-seat computer lab, the Wegner Environmental Art Gallery, and 117 offices or office spaces, as well as conference rooms, workrooms, study spaces and an open-air courtyard.