Peter Irving Wold Center

, Union College

Schenectady, NY

Atrium with students

Our design puts science and sustainability on display in an inviting "town square" surrounded by state-of-the-art laboratories that support teaching and research in Biochemistry, Environmental Science and Engineering, and Computer Engineering. The atrium, Science Café, and numerous study and social spaces constitute a learning commons that is heavily used by both students and faculty.

The LEED Gold design incorporates a wide range of sustainable features. A portion of the building’s energy use is offset by photovoltaics mounted on the roof as well as solar thermal systems that provide a portion of the domestic hot water. Renewable sources account for at least 35 percent of the building’s energy via a geothermal heat pump fed by 10 vertical wells as well as a renewable energy contract.

Highly specialized spaces include the Aerogel Lab, a joint venture between Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry, and the Phasor Lab, a one-of-a-kind acoustics lab that is a joint venture between the Electrical Engineering and Music departments. A curved façade echoes the colonnades framing the iconic Nott Memorial at the campus’s center.


Students and faculty are using the energy saving technologies in this building as a teaching laboratory for experimentation and further innovation.


The shared labs and common areas encourage students to explore new disciplines and collaborate together in groups.


A dynamic and inviting building makes it clear that STEM has a high priority on campus, and inspires everyone to greater challenges.