Program / Challenge

For the competition, students are required to address the following in their submissions:

  • Laboratory details integrating the design and engineered systems for the marine research laboratory facility that is part of the Marine Research and Education Center.
  • A concept plan describing campus utilities and infrastructure, including on-site energy generation, potable water supply, wastewater disposal, a seawater intake system providing both raw and filtered seawater to the wet laboratories within the Marine Research and Education Center, solid waste disposal, biological hazardous wastes disposal, and transportation infrastructure.

Teams of students from multiple disciplines, including but not limited to facility planning, architecture, engineering, and facility operations, are encouraged to collaborate to fulfill these requirements while addressing critical issues of the program. These include appropriate responses to climate and culture, deference to available natural resources, integration of design and systems, and the maintainability of the laboratory and campus long-term operations and maintenance in a sustainable manner.

In addition, students should apply the following evaluation criteria when defining the concept and scope of their proposal:

  • Minimal or no fossil energy consumption.
  • Ecologically sensitive water and waste water systems.
  • Minimal or no impact to the marine and natural environments during construction.
  • Architectural expression that embraces the ethic of sustainability and restoration.
  • Integration of engineered solution with sustainable and restorative design strategies.
  • Maintainability of building and its components.
  • Beneficial ecological impact.
  • Design for human performance.
  • Design for flexibility and adaptability.
  • Design for long-term sustainable operations and maintenance.
  • Exceptional innovation.

The Laboratory shall:

  • Incorporate life-cycle strategies that consider the living marine systems and that are at once restorative and adaptive. Because the mission of the Marine Research and Education Center is to understand marine ecosystems within the U.S. Virgin Islands, the program is envisioned to continue indefinitely. Because the means and methods to achieve research and education goals change over time, designs are encouraged to include strategies that can adapt to evolving needs.
  • Utilize technologies that are appropriate for the remote nature of the site and that are maintainable/upgradeable for the lifespan of the building.
  • Provide collaborative spaces that inspire learning through teaching and research.
  • Serve to reenergize the scientific community in the Caribbean.
  • Provide storage for scientific and historical records/artifacts.
  • Accommodate 12 researchers and/or scientists.
  • Include wet and dry laboratories that will support a flexible marine science research program; a computer lab supporting these laboratories that also can be used for classroom instruction; classroom space accommodating a maximum of 48 undergraduate students at one time; and teaching laboratories to serve these students.

The Campus shall:

  • Be a local attraction and engage the local community, and perpetuate island culture.
  • Minimize (elimination is preferred) the use of fossil fuel for energy use.
  • Reduce the construction impacts of energy use, emissions, and erosion.
  • Favor local materials and modular construction.
  • Demonstrate the sustainability ties between design, construction, operations, and maintenance.

As the Marine Research and Education Center campus will comprise multiple buildings, competitors are encouraged to use creativity in designing the number of individual structures and the separation or combination of their functions. Below is the Marine Research and Education Center's actual building program that encompasses the functions of the facility. This program should be used as guidance in the submittals but can be adapted for use by the teams.