Case Study

Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center

Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center

Challenge: When the Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center (BCAMSC) outgrew its previous facility, a community partnership selected the former Kellogg Cereal City Museum as the site for a new facility. An energy analysis showed the renovated facility would be at least 15 percent less expensive to operate than the current facility, but the plan required a new, energy-efficient and better-insulated building envelope that included high-performance glass. In addition, the center had to serve dual functions: education for exceptional high-school students from 16 neighboring districts; and the design, manufacture and distribution of science-related curriculum materials.

  • Battle Creek, MI Location
  • School Building Type

Criteria: The community partnership tasked TowerPinkster Architects with designing a building that incorporated innovation, flexibility, advanced technology, natural daylighting, and most importantly, areas conducive to inspire students and support the BCAMSC’s mantra of “Innovation through Inspiration.” Taking that approach, the design team developed three design strategies into the building. The first strategy was to maximize the existing space and circulation in order to efficiently develop educational spaces around the existing atrium. The second was to transform the agrarian aesthetic of the museum to that of a cutting-edge learning facility to provide inspiration. Finally, the building was used as a teaching tool with built-in opportunities for learning.

Solution: SunGuard® SN 68 on CrystalGray® & SNR 43 on clear The solution involved removing the existing roofs and adding a cantilevered second and third floor over the entry plaza. A glass curtain wall was used on the exterior of the second floor allowing a greenhouse at the corner, showcasing the center’s commitment to research-based learning. High-performance glass was used to transform the museum into its current modern design and meet criteria for energy efficiency and daylight. In the center of the building, advanced architectural glass was specified with a 31 percent visible light transmission (VLT) and ultra-low 0.20 solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which made it an ideal choice to allow natural light to penetrate the classrooms and open spaces. By contrast, on the perimeter of the building, the selected glass delivers a high, 68 percent VLT and has a SHGC of 0.38. “The glass selection played a very important role in helping us achieve our design goals,” says Matt Slagle, senior design architect with TowerPinkster. “Its neutral appearance allows for the seamless transition from the building’s original form, the former Cereal City USA Museum, to a state-of-the-art school.”

Results: Multiple studies have illustrated that student performance improves with access to natural light, and the selected glass offers the added benefit of managing solar energy, which helps reduce electric lighting and HVAC loads. That impact, and that of several other sustainability minded efforts throughout the building, adds up to a facility designed to LEED Gold levels.

Project Details