The Lorain County Community College (LCCC) wanted to build an Entrepreneurship Innovation Center (EIC), an incubator for entrepreneurial and start-up businesses that could collaborate with the College. The new building is located adjacent to the campus in the 57-acre Great Lakes Technology Park, LCCC's research park. The Great Lakes Technology Park's dense natural woodlands and wetlands prompted the design team to develop a master plan for the park that called for a series of three-story 'edge' buildings along the periphery of the technology park, thereby minimizing land coverage, wetland encroachment, and tree loss.
The translucent facade of the EIC faces the College on the northeast corner of the Park and wedges between an existing bio-swale, and a woods and wetland. A land bridge across the swale provides pedestrian connection from existing campus parking to the site. Bicycles access and county bus service are provided. Ten to twelve tenant businesses averaging 2,000 square feet are accommodated. Each tenant module is supported by an open architecture to allow for changing infrastructure needs over time. Second and third floor tenants are united by way of a two story linear atrium. Conference rooms and video-conferencing facilities on the first floor are available to all tenants. HVAC equipment is concealed from the campus in open air space on the 3rd floor.
Translucent polycarbonate glazing, integral with the curtain wall system is insulated with Nanogel insulation, a hydrophobic aero gel, providing more daylight while exceeding energy-saving requirements. The glazing provides a visible light transmittance of 54%, improving indoor environmental quality. Its low u-value contributes to a 20% reduction in heat energy use. Low-E insulating glass is used on the southern exposures to the woodland.
The EIC has achieved LEED Silver Certification from the USGBC.