Galileo’s Pavilion 2012

Johnson County Community College (JCCC) in Overland Park Kansas has a strategic plan that calls for the college to champion environmental sustainability in the curriculum and to transform the campus into a living laboratory. Galileo’s Pavilion is a LEED Platinum Certified building that occupies a prominent position at the heart of the campus. It includes two classrooms and a student lounge designed to surround Galileo’s Garden, a sculpture commissioned in 1984 and created by Kansas City artist Dale Eldred. The sculpture functions as a solar calendar and honors the spirit of Galileo Galilei.

Galileo’s Pavilion appropriately takes advantage of these daily and seasonal cycles. Frosted glass louvers are calculated to allow the low winter sun to penetrate the rooms, heating the thermal mass of the concrete floors. The louvers block the sun in summer and concrete floors remain cool Natural ventilation is promoted with operable windows and skylights so the building can be naturally cooled. Rainwater harvesting and natural daylighting reduce the need for artificial lighting and potable water as well as support the interior Living walls that grace the lounge and classrooms. PV’s and a wind turbine covert the sun and wind into electricity that powers the building. These features coupled with the advanced mechanical system, occupancy sensors and high-performance envelope not only provide efficient heating and cooling but also reduce the operating costs and extend the Life of the building.

The materials for both the structure and the finishes at Galileo’s Pavilion were chosen to reduce the use of resources. For example, the facade of the building is clad with a slate panel rainscreen made from reclaimed chalkboards gathered from the demolition of obsolete school buildings in the Midwest and insulated glass units salvaged from a large nearby development that was halted after the glass units had been produced.

LEED Platinum Certified
Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Certified