Education Center and Greenhouse Additions – LEED Platinum
IMEG provided structural and technology engineering design and services for two new additions to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison. The 16-acre gardens currently feature local plants from the Midwest and an indoor conservatory that holds tropical plants, flowers, and birds.
The additions included an 11,735-sf education center and 10,995-sf production greenhouse. The education center is connected to an existing complex and houses a classroom for environmental science learning for elementary students, early childhood programs, and community groups. The design for the production greenhouse included technology and sustainability upgrades necessary to support multiple climates for a wide variety of plants.
During the design process, IMEG engineers determined that a thick layer of peat soil material would need to be removed from the site. This provided a cost-saving opportunity to locate the project’s water capture/re-use cistern under the building and integrate it with the foundation. It also provided the learning center classroom with an educational opportunity on water re-use. The exposed structure showcases a unique combination of wood glulam beams and structural steel framing.
The City of Madison specified goals for the project’s environmental sensitivity and high-performance capabilities, which included waste reduction and recycling, energy and water efficiency, locally sourced materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and operations and maintenance savings.