Marine & Coastal Science Research, Skidaway Island, GA

Where Research, Functionality & Beauty Merge

Designed by the Hussey Gay Bell/Lord Aeck Sargent team, the UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (SkIO) state-of-the-art $5M, 11,000 SF research center provided much needed research lab space to support the center’s mission – “to provide the State of Georgia with a nationally and internationally recognized center of excellence in marine science.” Located on a 5-acre site adjacent to their existing administration / laboratory building, the facility allowed SkIO to expand its research in several areas, such as developing new technologies associated with ocean observation systems, discovering the diversity of species and their interactions in the marine environment, as well as assessing factors that affect the environmental health and integrity of Georgia’s coastal zone. The facility includes private office space, work centers, two chemistry laboratories, three general labs, biology lab, flow cytometry lab, special lab, clean room, mechanical room, and multi-use space for instruction, collaboration and informational seminars.

The building is one-story in height and raised 4’-6’ above the existing grade to be above surrounding flood plain elevation. Exterior materials were selected for durability and to be compatible with existing buildings on the campus, while innterior materials were selected for durability and flexibility. All systems were selected in the context of sustainable design principles, focusing on energy efficiency and environmental sensitivity including mechanical systems to provide flexible environmental controls, such as temperature, humidity, air pressure and quality lighting. Organic courtyard, sidewalk, and roof materials, abundant interior natural light, six-inch foam insulation, energy efficient windows, solar hot water heating system, and a 1,000-gallon cistern to capture rainwater for various uses are just a few of the “green” elements. The research facility achieved LEED Gold Certification in 2010.

[Images: Courtesy of Lord Aeck Sargent]

Marine & Coastal Science Research
Skidaway Island, GA

Completed via CM-at-Risk in 2009, this marine-science research facility successfully respects the unique and sensitive natural environment, maintains open space to support a “rural campus,” provides high-tech research space and blends into the established architectural vocabulary of the campus.