Cal Poly’s Baker Center Wins Prestigious 2017 Livable Buildings Award

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics received the 2017 Livable Buildings Award from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment (CBE) for a sustainable design featuring high-quality work and study spaces.

The award — the only building industry honor that includes feedback from occupants in its selection criteria — recognizes buildings that demonstrate exceptional performance in occupant satisfaction, resource efficiency and overall design.

“Receiving CBE’s Livable Building Award is a tremendous honor,” said Dean Wendt, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “So many faculty, staff, students and administrators contributed to making the Baker Center a welcoming space for the entire university community, and this award is a wonderful testament to their hard work and dedication.”

The award jury, which was composed of building industry professionals, noted the high marks that occupants gave the Baker Center on environmental factors such as acoustic quality and thermal comfort. Those scores put the Baker Center above the 90th percentile compared to other buildings for all categories, and in the 97th and 98th percentiles in overall workspace and overall building satisfaction, respectively.

“It’s a beautiful building, and people really like being in this space,” one juror said.

The now iconic structure realized the vision of Dean Emeritus Phil Bailey to transform science education at Cal Poly and revitalize the campus core. Named after former President Warren J. Baker, who was instrumental in securing funding, the 192,000 square-foot building — the second-largest campus structure — provides innovative instructional spaces and leading-edge research facilities and is a social hub for students across the university.

The LEED-Gold certified building demonstrates numerous sustainable strategies: operable windows, radiant heating/cooling in offices and conference rooms, chilled beams in laboratories, a green roof, active monitoring of laboratory air, and an atrium designed to take advantage of daylight and passive ventilation.

Cal Poly alumnus Ted Hyman (Architecture, ’79) also played a pivotal role as principal architect on the project for the team from ZGF Architects LLP.

“On behalf of ZGF, we are so gratified to see the Baker Center recognized with the prestigious 2017 CBE Livable Buildings Award,” said Hyman, a partner at ZGF. "As an architect, there is nothing more rewarding than to learn that those that ultimately inhabit a space after it is built, continue to experience it in as supportive and comfortable an environment as had been envisioned.”

The Baker Center provides study space for up to 400 students and has become a social hub on the Cal Poly campus.

About the Center for the Built Environment
The Center for the Built Environment was founded in 1997 under the National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center program. CBE is a place where prominent industry leaders and internationally recognized researchers cooperate to produce substantial, holistic, and far-sighted research on buildings. The organization’s mission is to improve the environmental quality and energy efficiency of buildings by providing timely, unbiased information on building technologies and design and operation techniques.

Contact: Rachel Henry

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