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UMass Amherst is home to America’s first CLT academic building

The building brings the architecture, landscape architecture, and building technology departments under one roof.

April 26, 2017 |

Photo: © Albert Vecerka / Esto

Not only is the recently completed Design Building at the University of Massachusetts Amherst the first CLT academic building in the country, it is also the largest installation of wood concrete composites in North America.

The 87,500-sf project unites the university’s architecture, landscape architecture and regional planning, and building and construction technology departments under one roof for the first time.

A skylit central commons is at the core of the building and brings students together for lectures, exhibits, presentations, and informal gatherings. Additional glazing and skylights provide abundant natural light to the building’s interior, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Studios, maker spaces, and classrooms surround the central space. A green roof sits atop the commons and includes an outdoor learning environment and experimental space for the landscape department.

The building envelope is created from copper-colored, anodized aluminum panels and vertical windows that are meant to resemble the colors and patterns of the region’s forests.

The Design Building cost $52 million to build. Leers Weinzapfel Associates was the architect for the project.



Photo: © Albert Vecerka / Esto


Photo: © Albert Vecerka / Esto

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