The Applied Research and Development Building on the campus of Northern Arizona University (NAU) provides space for research, study and application of sustainable technologies. Fittingly, the three-story, 60,000 ft2 (5600 m2) structure itself models sustainable design and construction.
Using innovative sustainability strategies, fly ash—a byproduct of burning coal—was added into the concrete mixture. This reduced the overall amount of cement required in the mix, and because producing cement requires the burning of fossil fuels, the result was a reduction in CO2 emissions. The carbon footprint of the building was further reduced by the fact that its structural concrete provides thermal mass, regulating temperatures inside the building.
The choice of concrete for the building's structural system supports the extensive use of exterior glass for passive solar and daylighting. Cutting edge materials were used on-the project site. Pervious concrete pavement in the parking lot enables stormwater to be filtered of particulate matter and surface contaminants before being absorbed back into the ground, reducing runoff quantity and improving runoff water quality.