CORE10 won the commission to prepare a Facilities Master Plan, and subsequent Design for renovations and new construction at Washington University's Tyson Research Center. This internationally renowned biology field station is uniquely sited on 2000 acres of native landscape originally used by the US Army as an ammunition depot after WWII. Our sustainable and hands-on approach to the planning process revealed some terrific opportunities to repurpose the original military buildings.  CORE10 stripped the ammunitions warehouse down to its structure and designed new and efficient labs underneath with plenty of sheltered outdoor workspace along a new research garden over the former train tracks of the loading depot.  Additionally the original headquarters was restored into a bright new field station. Renovations feature asbestos abatement, site and drainage modifications, composting toilets, grey water harvesting, a new fire pond, and many other environmentally sensitive yet affordable features that will set up Tyson to grow into its future.


HQ GARAGE

  The maintenance garage portion of the HQ building had come to serve both Tyson's maintenance staff and also students constructing materials for their field work - two functions that are fundamentally incompatible. So we expanded the office areas into the garage, moved the students out to the warehouse labs, and upgraded the garage. The original building had multiple overhead doors on both sides but we determined that only a few were required so we removed doors on the front of the building to make a more inviting entrance and reoriented the garage to the north, inner campus. We also heard from staff that the garage was either too hot or too cold much of the year so we insulated the roof and installed new high-volume low-velocity fans to move the air. The reflective insulation meets fire code requirements and, along with new skylights, boosts daylighting to the point where electric lights are not required during the daytime.

The maintenance garage portion of the HQ building had come to serve both Tyson's maintenance staff and also students constructing materials for their field work - two functions that are fundamentally incompatible. So we expanded the office areas into the garage, moved the students out to the warehouse labs, and upgraded the garage. The original building had multiple overhead doors on both sides but we determined that only a few were required so we removed doors on the front of the building to make a more inviting entrance and reoriented the garage to the north, inner campus. We also heard from staff that the garage was either too hot or too cold much of the year so we insulated the roof and installed new high-volume low-velocity fans to move the air. The reflective insulation meets fire code requirements and, along with new skylights, boosts daylighting to the point where electric lights are not required during the daytime.

HQ COMPOSTING TOILETS

  Our site investigations discovered a fifty year old septic system nearing the end of its useful life. Should we spend more money to replace that system? Or might we extend its life by reducing the load on the old system? In keeping with the conservation part of Tyson's mission, we proposed replacing the existing toilets with a new pair of composting toilets. The Living Learning Center already used composting toilets so staff were familiar with them. And the cost of replacing the old toilets and plumbing with new composting infrastructure was competitive with traditional plumbing and saved the cost of a new septic system.

Our site investigations discovered a fifty year old septic system nearing the end of its useful life. Should we spend more money to replace that system? Or might we extend its life by reducing the load on the old system? In keeping with the conservation part of Tyson's mission, we proposed replacing the existing toilets with a new pair of composting toilets. The Living Learning Center already used composting toilets so staff were familiar with them. And the cost of replacing the old toilets and plumbing with new composting infrastructure was competitive with traditional plumbing and saved the cost of a new septic system.


TYSON HEADQUARTERS - BEFORE

The HQ building dated from the 1960s and included a fire station, maintenance garage, and a conglomeration of repurposed office and administrative areas. Over the years the spaces had suffered with failing wood paneling, uneven floors of various materials, a kind-of-gross shower, and an overburdened kitchen. Our master plan required more administrative space and researcher office. But during our site visits we discovered a new requirement - the 2005 Living Learning Center provided terrific gathering space and a new deck but the deck was largely unused! The reason lay in the kitchen.

The HQ deck hosts regular barbeques which attract lots of students and faculty. The LLC couldn't include a functional kitchen and still meet it's net-zero goals, so that necessary feature was overlooked. We explored modifying the LLC to include a kitchen but the University decided to address it in this project. So we completely reimagined the building and added a new deck to take full advantage of the new kitchen. We also reoriented the building so that the new deck moved to the rear, creating a more private campus behind the HQ, connecting the LLC to the east and the new warehouse labs and gardens to the north while maintaining the entrance and parking facing the main road to the south.


CONSTRUCTION PHASE

During construction we discovered a failing roof structure that required new trusses over half of the building. This combined with the sweeping interior reworking and new composting toilets expanded the project to the point where a gut rehab was in order. We replaced and evened out flooring, we reinsulated the walls with spray foam insulation, and we created a new trussed roof with insulation below the deck and an open trussed space to maximize the common areas.