Integrated Science Complex

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

STEM Higher Education

Exterior facade at dusk

The new Park B. and Linda Smith Laboratories building unites the modernized Haberlin, Beaven, O’Neil, and Swords Halls to create a multidisciplinary science community. A network of new renovated atria forms a connective spine that aids circulation and visually unites the three levels of the complex. By modernizing and adding existing structures, the College gained a state-of-the-art science complex for approximately $18 million less in project costs than comparably sized new construction.

Glass-walled teaching and research spaces, designed for collaborative, hands-on discovery, bring science out from behind closed doors to those studying or meeting in the variously scaled informal spaces that dot the building. Such “soft spaces” encourage interdisciplinary collaboration by providing inviting space where classroom discussions can carry over, often sparking effective “intellectual collisions.” Majors and non-majors alike feel so comfortable working in this building that they’ve asked for extended hours.

Building Facts

  • 145,800 GSF
  • LEED Gold certified

The building contains:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Math & Computer Science
  • Physics
  • Café

Awards & Honors

  1. Honor Award, Historic Preservation and Adaptive Reuse

    AIA New England

  2. Honor Award

    Boston Society of Architects

  3. The Hobson Award

    Boston Society of Architects

Intellectual Collisions

Glass-walled teaching and research spaces, designed for collaborative, hands-on discovery, bring science out from behind closed doors to those studying or meeting in the variously scaled informal spaces that dot the building.

Collaborative Space STEM Research

Collaborative Journey of Discovery

We conducted working charrettes with representatives from every constituency - faculty, students, staff, and administration - to understand their needs and goals. The perspective we gained led to a design that uniquely reflects and supports their community.

STEM Research

Research Partners

The design of STEM facilities has a measurable impact on learning and builds intellectual community. We conduct critical research in partnership with our clients to advance design innovations that help them achieve their goals. Explore the results through interactive data visualization on our growing IMPACT site.

STEM Research Advancing Mission

One of the great goals of this building was to attract people. We wanted the building to say, ‘Come inside and stay inside,’ and that’s something that’s really happened.

Charles Weiss, PhD Director of Strategic Initiatives, College of the Holy Cross

Energy Analysis

Enthalpy recovery wheel

The innovative incorporation of enthalpy recovery wheels, variable air volume fume hood controls, envelope improvements, advanced lighting controls, and reduction in lighting power density produced an interactive energy savings of more than 52 percent in cooling and 39 percent in heating, lowering total energy consumption by 35 percent over the standard baseline.

Incorporating the enthalpy wheel generated a payback within the first 12 months of operation. Overall energy reduction after renovations was 60% with an Energy Performance Rating of 89. Trend analysis of proper systems operation has helped uncover opportunities to save additional energy.

The mechanical penthouse – sized for enormous enthalpy or energy-recovery wheels and their air-handling units – is copper clad. The louvered façade of the plenum – which draws in fresh air for the air-handling units – completes the transformation of essential engineering components into an integral element of the dynamic design.

Integrated Delivery

Financial Models for Reinventing Older Facilities

In this conference presentation, Charles Kirby and Kip Ellis explain how to turn antiquated science buildings into platforms for economic growth.

STEM Research

Design Impact: Rethinking the STEM Building

by Leila Kamal

Hamilton taylor center

The most successful colleges and universities we know with new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) buildings have not merely built new buildings, they have rethought them from the ground up. These institutions have radically redesigned them — either building entirely new structures or dramatically renovating existing ones — in ways that have improved professors’ teaching and students’ learning processes. The impacts, which EYP has tracked during the last 10 years and chronicled in our formal research studies, have been eye-opening in four dimensions: student enrollment and retention; faculty recruitment; learning experience; research and collaboration opportunities.

Evaluating the Impact of STEM Buildings on College and University Campuses, Volume 2: Pilot Assessment - College of the Holy Cross

by Leila Kamal, Charles Kirby, Kip Ellis, Toni Loiacano

College of the Holy Cross Exterior

This report analyzes the research results of the pilot assessment conducted at the College of the Holy Cross.

Assessment of the College of the Holy Cross Integrated Science Complex II: Analysis of Administrative Data

by Leila Kamal, Charles Kirby, Kip Ellis, Toni Loiacano

Integrated Science Complex exterior

To further assess the impact of the new Integrated Science Complex (ISC) at the College of the Holy Cross, EYP analyzed trend data from several administrative offices.

More Projects Like This

Atrium with students

Union College

Peter Irving Wold Center


An academic "town square" puts science and sustainability on display.

exterior view with outside classroom in foreground

Wheaton College

Mars Center for Science and Technology


With its dynamic curves, green roofs, and outdoor gathering spaces, this LEED Gold design resolves the dynamic tension between the grid of the campus plan and the adjacent wetlands.