We continue to make good progress on the new building and have several updates to report in the newsletter. I would also like point out two links in the right-hand column. The FAQ link answers many questions ranging from security to shuttle service. The I-195 link is a slide-show showing the area under construction that is opening the Jewelry District to the rest of downtown Providence.
The artist’s way
Each building constructed at Brown University has 1 percent of its budget allocated for public art. This commitment ties every major renovation or new construction to the founding principles of the University to promote a humanities-based curriculum and focus of learning. For the Alpert Medical School, Brown University’s Public Art Committee tapped Washington, D.C. artist Larry Kirkland for a design that will be place in the building’s atrium, on the first floor between the two auditoriums.
Larry Kirkland’s career and artistic expression are intertwined and focused on creating works in conjunction with design professionals and community leaders for spaces used by the general public or by large groups. In Kirkland’s view, the best public art can challenge, delight, educate and illuminate. Kirkland, who received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, has had commissioned work appear in Penn Station in New York City as well as at the headquarters for the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. Globally, his work has appeared in Malaysia, Japan and Hong Kong.
As part of his creative process, Kirkland looks into the commonality of the building where his art will appear. To gain perspective, Kirkland examines aspects of the building, including the purpose, the types of interactions that will take place, and the cultural, historical and social significance of the building’s location. For the Alpert Medical School, Kirkland has proposed a design that will show the relationships between doctor and patient. The design will include two carved, marble chairs in front of a mural. In discussing his art for the Alpert Medical School, he mentioned the “humanity of medicine,” as a connection point to the University’s philosophy and practice of interdisciplinary studies.
Kirkland has developed a mural prototype. He came to Brown and met with students on March 23, and is now in the process of finalizing his design.
Every building has a story, and the construction of the Alpert Medical School has some impressive achievements thanks to the on-site workers. The people who have made the building happen – the 115 construction and building workers – hold an impressive record of achievement in safety and timeliness, something that is rare in projects of this size.
During the entire construction, there have been only two minor injuries, and in each case the worker was able to return to work the same day. For a complex structure and renovation such as the Alpert Medical School, this record is a testament to the dedication and smart work of Suffolk Construction and their Union partners.
Similarly, the building team’s commitment has enabled the construction to remain on schedule, so that we are well prepared for our move this summer.
When finished, the Alpert Medical School building is scheduled to receive a Gold Certification as part of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Every construction project undertaken at Brown University is done so with sustainability goals. For the Alpert Medical School building, the sustainability plan involved analyses of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; the building energy use; and allocation of materials and resources. The latest estimates of the building’s energy model indicate an approximate energy savings of 29 percent.
While every new construction project is required to design to LEED Silver Standard, the sustainability aspects built into the Alpert Medical School’s construction plan made nominating the project for a higher level LEED Certification an easy and natural next step. The LEED Certification process involves a 100-point base point rating system that examines major credit categories such as Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. For the Gold LEED Certification, the Alpert Medical School will receive a score of 60 to 79 points.
Brown University projects which have already achieved LEED®, or are designed and registered to achieve LEED® certification, include:
Rhode Island Hall (NC-v2.2), 2010
Sidney Frank Hall for Life Sciences, (NC-v2.1), 2009
- Designed to Gold:
Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts (NC-v2.2)
Medical Education Building (NC-v2.2)
Mind Brain Behavior (NC-v2.2)
Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center at Faunce House (CI-v2.0)
- Designed to Silver:
Aquatics and Fitness Center (NC-v3)
Philip Gruppuso, MD
Associate Dean for Medical Education