Though named for an influential scientist from history, a recently constructed university student residence hall was designed for the modern day – and the future – containing sustainable design features to maximize energy- and water-usage proficiency.

Named for 19th century scientist Michael Faraday, the new 259-bed, 89,000-sq.ft., apartment-style residence hall built for WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) is currently awaiting LEED certification. Constructed in downtown Worcester, Mass., Faraday Hall was completed by ADD, www.addinc.com, Boston, now with Stantec, www.stantec.com.

“WPI is one of the United States’ first engineering and technology universities, and the residence hall was designed to accommodate the needs of its science and technology students,” relates B.K. Boley, principal at ADD, now with Stantec. Architecture, interior design, planning, and branding firm ADD has joined Stantec’s Buildings Group, a team of design and allied professionals working in more than 90 offices.

The apartment-style student residence makes use of local and recycled materials, and features expansive windows that maximize the amount of natural light, minimizing electrical consumption during the daylight hours.

Michael Faraday, whose efforts in the field of science made electricity viable for use in technology, inspired the building’s architecture and design. Boley explains that choosing “the father of electromagnetism,” as inspiration led to the creation of what he describes as “a building that is clearly ‘technical and energized’ in its appearance, but also fitted out with the technology and modern amenities that fit the needs of today’s students.”

Composed of brick and metal panels in six custom colors of various depths and sizes, the exterior was designed to evoke the feeling of a circuit board. The interior features details and materials that recall a modern laboratory, with open ceilings and building systems for the engineering students to absorb.

Features inspired by Faraday’s other famous discoveries include the open staircase adjacent to the lobby, constructed out of stainless steel cables and railings to represent the Faraday Cage, one of the scientist’s most important findings.

The building features four-bed apartments with single and double bedrooms, full kitchens, living rooms, compartmentalized bathrooms and recreational facilities. The building’s Technology Suites are located on each floor and offer an area for socialization with full wireless access.

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