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The new building for American University campus which has the largest foreign service program in a country was designed to inspire new ideas and dreams. Serving as a symbol of the school's tradition of global service, the LEED Gold certified building provides a vibrant setting for teaching, research and public dialogue. Design strategies, including on-site generation of renewable energy, Cradle to Cradle material specifications, and abundant fresh air and daylight, were developed and prioritized in close collaboration with the School's students, faculty and staff to serve as pedagogical tools capable of demonstrating the highest degrees of environmental responsibility. Each office has individual thermal control, operable windows and uses solar energy for thermal hot water heating system and for preheating of fresh air coming from outside. The sunlit atrium provides a welcome meeting place for the School and its visitors as they work towards social justice, the eradication of poverty, and world peace. Global connections are celebrated on the building exterior as well, where the pattern of the perforated frieze is inspired by the Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion map of the world. Loisos + Ubbelohde provided daylighting consulting, glazing classifications and shading design.

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William McDonough + Partners

Washington, DC

Occupied, 2010

Above: Rendering of atrium space with isolux contours.

Below: View of skylight in atrium. Photograph by Prakash Patel.