UHD’s College of Sciences & Technology Building Earns HBJ Landmark Award
By Mike Emery
When the University of Houston-Downtown opened its newest building, community members agreed that it was the very model of sustainability in higher education and an innovative center for discovery for both faculty and students.
One year later, UHD’s College of Sciences & Technology (CST) Building continues to earn kudos and accolades. The building is among the winners of the Houston Business Journal’s Landmark Awards recognizing the city’s top real estate projects.
The CST Building took top honors in the Education category. It is the first UHD building/project to be recognized with a Landmark Award. These awards acknowledge those structures that are making an immediate impact on the community.
The building—designed by Kirksey Architecture and constructed by Vaughn Construction—spans 115,000 square feet and provides students with nearly 30 laboratories, state-of-the art classrooms, and cafe. Built to LEED Gold specifications, its energy-saving and sustainable features serve as examples for other universities when it comes to sustainable campus structures.
Most importantly, the CST Building is designed to allow for faculty-student collaborations and scientific discovery.
“This magnificent laboratory and student study space offers opportunities for creative collisions between students and faculty in a variety of settings from open labs, student study rooms, open gathering spaces with mobile white boards, and conference rooms all of which overlooking the green spaces of the White Oak Bayou and downtown Houston,” said College of Sciences & Technology Dean Dr. Akif Uzman. “Every space invites students and faculty to engage in scientific thinking and creativity with nearby writing walls, monitors, and varied seating for engaging discussion.”
In response to the CST Building receiving the HBJ Landmark Award, Kirksey Architecture issued the following statement:
“The Kirksey team is honored to have been a part of such a landmark project for the city of Houston. As our city evolves to include more resilient design, we believe that the UHD Sciences and Technology Building sets a new precedent for the future of educational spaces.”
The $73 million structure utilizes a system for recycling air conditioning condensation into a 6,000 gallon cistern (to water the building’s urban gardens). Its design also allows for exterior light to enter much of the building to conserve energy. Many areas of the building also utilize recycled materials. Coming soon are solar panels (made possible by a $250,000 gift from the Green Mountain Sun Club) to power two environmental labs – one of which will be named the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club Environmental Science Laboratory.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.