EcoHawks is a student research program run by the University of Kansas School of Engineering focused on alternative energy for transportation. The rapid expansion of the program has generated the need for a new facility to showcase the EcoHawks’ research, which, in turn, has providing Studio 804 with the opportunity to continue its tradition of designing and constructing high-quality, innovative and sustainable buildings. The similar ideologies and goals of both the EcoHawks program and Studio 804 makes the collaboration of the two groups a natural partnership.
The EcoHawks Engineering Research and Teaching Facility will provide a refined space for the research, fabrication, and refurbishment of electric vehicles. The facility will contain designated areas for computer workstations and prototype testing. High-bay fabrication spaces will be completely glazed to allow visitors to view research in progress and allow for maximum visibility and solar gain. To offset the high heat transfer and improve energy performance, Studio 804 is developing a system to raise and lower aerogel panels behind the glass façade. The marriage of both passive design strategies and active sustainable technologies within the building has added EcoHawks as Studio 804’s sixth LEED Platinum building.