The nearly 40,000-square-foot building will be prominently located at the south end of the academic lawn and will complete the College’s main quadrangle.

The Greer Environmental Sciences Center honors former President William T. “Billy” Greer’s long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability and advocacy for a thriving science program at Virginia Wesleyan University.

The nearly 40,000-square-foot building is prominently located at the south end of the academic lawn and completes the University’s main quadrangle. The building serves as the cornerstone of the University’s growing environmental sciences programs. The Greer Environmental Sciences Center’s spatial and visual connections help create an inspiring sense of place on the VWU campus. Through its location and landscaping, the building connects students in powerful ways to their local ecological community.

The Greer Environmental Sciences Center honors former President William T. “Billy” Greer’s long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability and advocacy for a thriving science program at Virginia Wesleyan University.

The nearly 40,000-square-foot building is prominently located at the south end of the academic lawn and completes the University’s main quadrangle. The building serves as the cornerstone of the University’s growing environmental sciences programs. The Greer Environmental Sciences Center’s spatial and visual connections help create an inspiring sense of place on the VWU campus. Through its location and landscaping, the building connects students in powerful ways to their local ecological community.

A wing on the east end of the building will house a 50-person, tiered lecture room, two 36-person active learning classrooms, two 20-person seminar rooms, and a Geographic Information System (GIS) classroom.
A wing on the east end of the building will house a 50-person, tiered lecture room, two 36-person active learning classrooms, two 20-person seminar rooms, and a Geographic Information System (GIS) classroom.

A wing on the east end of the building houses a 50-person, tiered lecture room, two 36-person active learning classrooms, two 20-person seminar rooms, and a Geographic Information System (GIS) classroom. Formal and informal group study spaces are located throughout the building. These classrooms and common spaces are accessible to non-science majors and provide opportunities for all students to develop a closer connection to the sciences.

A new greenhouse and research gardens are located on the south side of the new building. Native plantings were used in the landscaping to emulate a variety of local ecosystems and create a habitat for local wildlife. These outdoor classrooms provide innovative teaching opportunities through the use of hands-on experiences and undergraduate research opportunities.

The Greer Environmental Sciences Center will embody “science on display” with fully glazed walls on the north side of classroom laboratories, exposing science and scientific exploration. Strategically-placed sustainable features are accessible to students who observe and monitor the building’s use of energy, water, and material resources. The facility features a geothermal system for heating, cooling, and domestic hot water, an array of photovoltaic (PV) panels, and a small-scale demonstration wind turbine. An extensive green roof will be located on the roof of the classroom section on the east end. Vegetated bioretention basins and constructed wetlands treat stormwater runoff on-site in inventive and engaging ways that may be studied by students.

A wing on the east end of the building houses a 50-person, tiered lecture room, two 36-person active learning classrooms, two 20-person seminar rooms, and a Geographic Information System (GIS) classroom. Formal and informal group study spaces are located throughout the building. These classrooms and common spaces are accessible to non-science majors and provide opportunities for all students to develop a closer connection to the sciences.

A new greenhouse and research gardens are located on the south side of the new building. Native plantings were used in the landscaping to emulate a variety of local ecosystems and create a habitat for local wildlife. These outdoor classrooms provide innovative teaching opportunities through the use of hands-on experiences and undergraduate research opportunities.

The Greer Environmental Sciences Center will embody “science on display” with fully glazed walls on the north side of classroom laboratories, exposing science and scientific exploration. Strategically-placed sustainable features are accessible to students who observe and monitor the building’s use of energy, water, and material resources. The facility features a geothermal system for heating, cooling, and domestic hot water, an array of photovoltaic (PV) panels, and a small-scale demonstration wind turbine. An extensive green roof will be located on the roof of the classroom section on the east end. Vegetated bioretention basins and constructed wetlands treat stormwater runoff on-site in inventive and engaging ways that may be studied by students.

A wing on the east end of the building will house a 50-person, tiered lecture room, two 36-person active learning classrooms, two 20-person seminar rooms, and a Geographic Information System (GIS) classroom.
The Greer Environmental Sciences Center will embody “science on display” with fully glazed walls on the north side of classroom laboratories, exposing science and scientific exploration.
The Greer Environmental Sciences Center will embody “science on display” with fully glazed walls on the north side of classroom laboratories, exposing science and scientific exploration.
Formal and informal group study spaces are located throughout the building. These classrooms and common spaces will be accessible to non-science majors and provide opportunities for all students to develop a closer connection to the sciences.
The Greer Environmental Sciences Center will embody “science on display” with fully glazed walls on the north side of classroom laboratories, exposing science and scientific exploration. Strategically-placed sustainable features will be accessible to students who will observe and monitor the building’s use of energy, water, and material resources.
The Greer Environmental Sciences Center will embody “science on display” with fully glazed walls on the north side of classroom laboratories, exposing science and scientific exploration. Strategically-placed sustainable features will be accessible to students who will observe and monitor the building’s use of energy, water, and material resources.

We are using this facility to promote an ethic of sustainability on our campus. In classes and casual interactions, students and visitors learn more about sustainability and the environment. This allows us additional opportunities to have conversations about what they can do in their everyday lives to be good stewards. This facility has also allowed us to attract students in this field, who might otherwise have gone to a different university. Once they are here, we aim to provide a transformative education, using the building’s educational and sustainable features.

– Dr. Maynard Schaus Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Biology
The Greer Environmental Sciences Center will embody “science on display” with fully glazed walls on the north side of classroom laboratories, exposing science and scientific exploration. Strategically-placed sustainable features will be accessible to students who will observe and monitor the building’s use of energy, water, and material resources.
Virginia Wesleyan University Greer Environmental Sciences Center

Client: Virginia Wesleyan University

Location: Norfolk, VA

Discipline: Academics

Completion: 2017

Size: 40,000 SF

Awards Received

2019 Virginia Environments Award
USGBC Virginia

2018 Excellence in Architecture Merit Award
SCUP/AIA-CAE

2018 Excellence in Design Awards Best Educational Building
Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate

2018 Honor Award of Excellence
Associated Builders and Contractors - Virginia Chapter

2017 Award of Excellence
DBIA Hampton Roads

Filed in:

, Higher Education, Interior Design, Academic