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Berman Student's Center

Berman Student_Center_Building

 The Student Center at Manhattanville College forms the gateway to the core of this 100-acre campus. When entering the building at the ground floor, a strong diagonal axis pulls visitors toward a ceremonial stair which emerges at the main floor art gallery adjacent to a new green quadrangle.

The 33,000sf building was designed as a series of spaces for interdisciplinary activity, with places for performing arts, creative arts, student clubs, exercise and fitness. The main floor art gallery and student lounge (at the quadrangle level) are flooded with natural light from the expansive curtain wall. All public spaces have views to the new quadrangle and the heart of the campus.

Gold LEED Certification

All of the materials in the building have been obtained locally. They are natural and non-toxic. The primary exterior materials are brick, glass, metal panels, and standing seam metal roofing. The interior materials are polished concrete flooring, maple flooring, ground face concrete block interior walls and partitions, brick peers, and unfinished galvanized steel doors and frames. The interior surfaces are predominantly unfinished for minimum maintenance and no toxic off-gassing. The entire storm drainage system is designed to be sustainable by filtering the storm water and retaining it on site.

In order to receive the gold LEED certification, the building incorporates an energy efficient gas-fired condensing boiler, an efficient evaporative chiller, and a well insulated building envelope; roof-mounted PV solar collectors provide 13% of the building's electricity. All interior space is day-lit. The building uses 50% of the energy of a typical code compliant building. The extended west façade forms the edge of a new quadrangle. That façade is glass, but the overheating associated with west-facing glass is remedied with fritted glass and a row of deciduous trees which shades the glass during warm months.

This is the first green building on the Manhattanville campus. The approval process within the local community was made more cordial because the building was designed to be sustainable. The Manhattanville community of faculty, staff, students, families of the students and alumni, is genuinely excited about the sustainable building. The solar collectors are visible from the new quadrangle, clearly indicating the presence of a "green" building in the landscape. The building is transparent and completely day-lit; this supports the communal mission of the Student Center.