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Clemson's new Outdoor Education Center uses a Mass Timber Structural System

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University Buildings

Clemson's new Outdoor Education Center uses a Mass Timber Structural System

Cooper Carry designed the project.

By David Malone, Associate Editor | May 19, 2020
Clemson's Outdoor Education Center

All photos: Jonathan Hillyer

Clemson University's 16,000-sf Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center has become the first mass timber structure on the campus and the second mass timber facility in the nation to use Southern yellow pine as the primary building material. The project is located at the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Complex.

Designed to enhance the opportunities of Clemson students to achieve mental and physical wellness through interaction with nature,  the Center comprises two multi-use classroom studios capable of supporting activities such as yoga, rowing, wellness seminars, nutrition, expedition planning, and other events. The facility also includes a resource for trip planning, equipment rentals, a bike repair/rental shop, a boathouse, a covered patio, a lounge, and a second-level deck overlooking Lake Hartwell.


People carrying a boat in front of the Clemson's Outdoor Education Center


The boathouse, which provides storage for rental kayaks, paddleboards, and rafts, is enclosed in passively ventilated skin of local cypress. The cypress skin helps to enhance the visual appeal and sustainability of the building.

The building is positioned to be net-zero ready and has the potential to be operated off-grid with the installation of photovoltaics. Sustainable elements include expansive windows that offer natural daylight, sensor-controlled lighting, and large-scale fans that help reduce cooling loads. Passive cooling is used for boat storage spaces.


See Also: Erudite eSports: Colleges build their very own eSports arenas


The Center supports student engagement with nature by anchoring a master planned precinct on campus, which includes 14,000 sf of synthetic turf fields for intramural and club sports, woodlands for hikes, beaches, and lake access for water activities. Additionally, the building's covered terrace and second-level roof deck overlook the lake and provide opportunities for people to access the exterior environment.


Outdoor Education Center at night


Outdoor Education Center interior


Covered patio space

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