Looking ahead at the tech in the new Keck Center

The new Keck Center for Science and Engineering will live up to its name, with energy-sustainable technology, solar panels and rainwater filtering. The Schmid College of Science and Technology gave students and parents a glimpse into the technology and appearance of the newly named center, which is expected to open fall 2018.

The open house on Oct. 7 in Argyros Forum displayed mockups of the Keck Center and showed parents and students the materials being used in the building.

The building will have windows that use GPS technology to detect where the sun will hit, said Chris Pagel, the director of institutional support. Based on the GPS, the windows will become more or less tinted, which will help reduce energy usage.

The windows, which will be powered by solar panels, can detect overcast days and adjust the tinting accordingly. The building will also have technology to capture rainwater and filter it for use on the plants in the building’s several patios, Pagel said.

Chapman didn’t get the building certified as a “green building” because those permits are expensive, Pagel said.

To be considered green, buildings can receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating through the U.S. Green Building Council. Buildings can be rated certified, silver, gold or platinum based on their features. To receive this rating, it would cost Chapman between $13,465 and $16,360, depending on whether the university is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, according to the council’s website. This includes a registration fee, a flat rate and a rate calculated by square footage.

The labs in the science center will have windows so that people walking by are able to see the work being done inside them.

Pagel said that the building is expected to be completed in June 2018 and that students – both science majors and not – will be able to use the Keck Center on the first day of the fall 2018 semester.

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