|Bagley Classroom located on the 55 acre Bagley Nature Area adjacent to the UMD campus|
Bagley Nature Area is an Outdoor Teaching Laboratory Almost Without Parallel on any Other Campus in the U.S.
UMD held grand opening ceremonies June 22 for the exciting new state-of-the-art sustainable Bagley Classroom located on the 55 acre Bagley Nature Area adjacent to the UMD campus. Because of the wide variety of forest and aquatic ecosystems, the Bagley Nature Area is an outdoor teaching laboratory almost without parallel on any other campus in the Unites States.
Amazing in its far-reaching sustainable design, the new Bagley Classroom is designed to be a LEED Certified PLATINUM Award building which will serve as a vital learning tool and a model of sustainable design and construction for all of Northern Minnesota.
Designed by internationally noted Duluth architect, David Salmela, with construction and landscaping done entirely by the staff of the UMD Department of Facilities Management, the 2,000 square foot classroom rests quietly in the woods covered in zinc siding with a green veil of vegetation on the roof. It sits lightly on the earth, both environmentally and visually.
The interior design is warm and inviting, with reclaimed and regional timber beams and local wood paneling. All exposed materials are maintenance-free. The south wall is comprised of glass, maximizing views of Rock Pond and the surrounding forest, while providing passive heating in the winter. Large operating windows on the east and west walls also provide views and natural ventilation. The lighting system will be used minimally because all occupied spaces will have abundant daylight.
While nationally the building sector contributes between 40% and 50% of all carbon emissions in the United States, the Bagley Classroom is designed to slash energy consumption as a super-insulated and airtight building. The passive solar heating will supplement the building’s heating needs while a high efficiency heat recovery ventilation unit will continuously provide fresh air. It is anticipated that the on-site grid-connected solar photovoltaic system will provide as much energy as the building uses. Most wastewater will be treated on-site through the use of modern looking composting toilets.
Primarily used by the UMD Department of Biology for science instruction ranging from general biology labs to the study of ecosystem ecology, ornithology and entomology, the Classroom will also be used for environmental studies, geography studies, teacher education, outdoor management/operations studies, art/drawing, recreational outdoor programs, and early childhood learning activities.
It is informative to note some distinct characteristics of the Bagley Classroom to qualify it for the LEED Certified PLATINUM Award.
Interior of Bagley Classroom
Solar panels atop the Bagley Classroom
Bagley Classroom's outdoor firepit
· minimal building footprint
· protecting existing habitat
· maximized open space
· vegetated roof
· landscape requires no long-term irrigation
· over 86% reduction in water use
· composting toilets
Energy & Atmosphere
· 90% on-site renewable energy
· passive solar winter heating
· super-insulated airtight building
Minerals & Resources
· 88% construction waste recycled
· reused, recycled content, regional and renewable materials
Indoor Environmental Quality
· 100% occupied spaces have exterior views and day lighting
· 100% low-VOC interior environment
· increased ventilation and air monitoring
Innovation & Design Process
· 83% vegetative open space
· exemplary performance in water reduction
· exemplary performance in renewable energy
Written by Susan Beasy Latto
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