Center for the Sciences & Innovation (CSI)

, Trinity University

San Antonio, TX

Designed to be a "crucible for ideas," CSI has raised the University's profile in the community helped increase enrollment in STEM fields and become the "go-to" place for students from departments across campus. The sustainable, site-inspired design channels students, faculty, and visitors through interconnected neighborhoods of classrooms, laboratories, offices, and “living spaces" along a connective spine that links the sciences to the center of campus. This popular new campus hub provides unique learning environments including 'the Cube," an innovative makerspace that supports both engineering and Trinity's unique interdisciplinary program in entrepreneurialism.


  1. Feature 1:

    Designed to help manage stormwater runoff, the bioswale features live oaks and native plants.

  2. Feature 2:

    A green roof is one of several features that make the building a living lab for sustainability.

  3. Feature 3:

    Energy-saving design strategies earned Trinity a $1.3M rebate from the local utility.

Building Facts

  • 155,000 GSF new
  • 85,000 GSF modernization
  • LEED Gold certified
  • 43 research labs
  • 24 teaching labs
  • Innovation lab/makerspace
  • Outdoor classroom
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Sciences
  • Engineering Science
  • Psychology

Protecting the Environment

41 live oak trees were recycled into benches and tables.

Live oaks contribute significantly to the unique character of the historic campus site.

100 % of the building uses graywater for flushing toilets.

Stormwater management and harvesting uses rainwater to offset a building’s impact on public water utilities, a critical consideration in the harsh desert climate of southwest Texas.

1,500 tons of waste were recycled and diverted from the landfill.

Minimizing the waste stream protects the environment and conserves dwindling natural resources by leveraging the embodied energy in existing building components

Trinity University

When Green Equals Green

Trinity’s Center for the Sciences and Innovation’s green roof project receives SA Tomorrow’s Sustainability Award

When it came time to design Trinity’s Center for the Sciences and Innovation (CSI), who better to collaborate with than the scientists who would be inhabiting the space and the University’s sustainability experts who would be maintaining it? It took this team of experts coming together to create a rooftop utopia that today was awarded an SA Tomorrow Sustainability Award from the City of San Antonio’s Office of Sustainability.

Green Lab

In the Driver’s Seat

Students thought their new STEM building needed a cool tour guide…so they built one. CSIborg gives visitors an unforgettable welcome to Trinity’s culture of creativity.

Liberating Potential to Transform Human Experience

Inspired and empowered by innovative spaces like “the Cube,” undergraduates collaborate with peers and faculty on projects that address real-world issues like diabetes and pediatric health, aging in place, or cross-cultural communication.

The architects collaborated and pushed us to think beyond our wildest dreams, and the result is this award-worthy facility that has transformed the way we think about our educational mission and demonstrates who we are.

David Ribble Professor of Biology, Trinity University

STEM Magnet

Designed as a "crucible for ideas," CSI has raised Trinity’s profile among liberal arts institutions; helped increase enrollment in STEM fields; and become the go-to place for students from all disciplines.

Living Lab

Trinity's investment in energy efficiency and sustainability earned it a Texas-sized ROI in the form of a $1.3M rebate from San Antonio's public utility.

Green Lab

This article from High Profile explores what makes makerspaces such engaging learning environments for students from all disciplines. Drawing on her lab planning and STEM research experience, the author explains the Think/Model/Make design concept with examples from her favorite makerspace - Trinity University's unique innovation center, "The Cube."