Total Performance Building Case Study: Chicago Botanic Garden, Plant Conservation Science Center

April 20, 2011

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Chicago Botanic Garden, Plant Conservation Science Center

The twenty-first century challenges our approach to the Earth's limited resources and energy. Building our future requires a more holistic response, a shared enlightened stewardship, and imaginative innovation. To expand sustainably, we must join new technologies with humanism, our sciences with liberal arts, and engineering with poetry. We call this effort Total Performance Building.

Listen in as Laurence Booth, FAIA, N.A., design principal of Booth Hansen,  talks about an example of this approach: the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center. Booth Hansen envisioned the science center as an anchor for the Chicago Botanic Garden’s 15-acre science campus. The 35,000 square foot building is now the headquarters for the Garden’s research team as well as Northwestern University’s doctoral program in plant biology and conservation. Researchers and students enjoy nine laboratories dedicated to ecology, soil, population biology, plant systematics, genetics, economic botany, reproductive biology, seed bank preparation, and microscopy. From the gallery, visitors can observe and read displays about the ongoing research within the laboratories. Seminar rooms, an expanded herbarium, a plant science library, a seed bank, and office spaces beyond the labs also support scientific discoveries.

Recorded Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at the Lecture Hall Gallery.