Edward B. Bunn S.J. Intercultural Center

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The Edward B. Bunn S.J. Intercultural Center
The Intercultural Center
Intercultural Center.jpg
Eastern entrance
Alternative names The ICC
General information
Type Administrative office
Architectural style Contemporary
Address 37th and O Streets NW, Washington, DC 20057
Coordinates 38°54′32″N 77°04′24″W / 38.90880°N 77.07336°W / 38.90880; -77.07336
Construction started 1980
Completed May 1982
Cost $33,000,000
Client Georgetown University
Technical details
Floor count 7
Floor area 226,000 square feet (21,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architecture firm Metcalf & Associates[1]
Structural engineer MMP International Inc.
Main contractor The George Hyman Construction Co.

The Edward B. Bunn S.J. Intercultural Center commonly known as the Intercultural Center or ICC is a seven-story mixed use building on the main campus of Georgetown University. The center was built in 1982 as the Photovoltaic Higher Education National Exemplar Facility in conjunction with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.[2] The facility hosts numerous administrative offices, student facilities, and conference spaces, but is best known for its contribution to solar power development.

History[edit]

Interior of the center.

In 1980 Georgetown University applied to the Department of Energy for a grant to fund the construction of an intercultural center that would showcase the potential use building integration of photovoltaic panels to produce electrical power.[3] While the Congressional funding for the solar panels came as a result of heightened awareness of energy issues following the 1973 oil embargo, the funding for the structure itself came as a result of Georgetown's goal of improving American education in foreign languages and international affairs, which was deemed deficient in the post-Vietnam era.[4] This was part of Georgetown's effort at the time to secure federal funding for model projects that could be replicated at other universities and institutions across the nation.[5]

Construction began in early 1980 and the building itself was completed in May 1982 at a cost of $23,000,000.[2] The interior of the building consists of six floors of educational space and a seventh maintenance floor, altogether totaling 226,000 square feet (21,000 m2). While at the time the center was considered futuristic, a "dark spaceship" on the historic campus, it has since become incorporated into the campus with its Red Square courtyard serving as a student gathering area.[6]

Solar panels[edit]

Aerial view of the center.

In its original plans it would have been the largest photovoltaic installation in the world and as completed was one of the largest ever constructed.[4][7] At its peak it produced 360,000 kilowatt-hours (1.3×109 kJ) per year of electrical power, however with age, its current capacity is approximately 200,000 kilowatt-hours (720,000,000 kJ) per year, or 6% of the structure's needs.[8][9] Additionally, the solar panels that were installed used a rough glass that reduced efficiency, but prevented glare from affecting airplanes operating out of nearby Reagan National Airport.[7]

While it had been designed with the installation of solar panels in mind, they were not installed until late 1984 by the Solarex Corporation at a cost of approximately $10,000,000.[10] Solarex installed the 35,710 square feet (3,318 m2) of solar panels on the roof of the center facing south.[7] Solarex was later purchased by the Amoco oil company and sold in 1995 to the Enron energy company.[11] The center has been recognized as being ahead of its time in the promotion of renewable energy sources and for continuing to operate as designed, decades after its construction.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1982 WBC Craftsmanship Awards Winners". Washington Building Congress. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  2. ^ a b Podbielski, V.; D. Shaff (April 1994). "The Photovoltaic Higher Education National Exemplar Facility (PHENEF)" (PDF). Georgetown University. Archived from the original on unknown. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  3. ^ Strong, Steven J. "A New Generation of Solar Architecture" (PDF). Solar Design Associates. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  4. ^ a b O'Neill, Paul R.; Paul K. Williams (2003). "Toward a Third Century" (PDF). Georgetown University. Arcadia Publishing. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  5. ^ "Rev. Thomas Byron Collins, S.J." (PDF). Maryland Province. 2006-06-20. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  6. ^ Forgey, Benjamin (1988-11-19). "The Inside Story; A Look at Georgetown's New Leavey Center". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  7. ^ a b c McIntosh, Kerry (2004-03-23). "Intercultural Center Keeps Ahead of the Times". The Hoya. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  8. ^ "Carbon Footprint". Office of the Senior Vice President. 2008. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  9. ^ Dwulet, Andrew (2010-04-23). "Green Efforts Gain Momentum on Campus". The Hoya. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  10. ^ "Lighting the Way With Creation's Original Remedy". Reocities. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  11. ^ Southerland, Daniel (1995-01-30). "Preparing for Its Day in the Sun; Solarex Aims to Cut Production Costs and Market Solar Power to Utilities". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-28. 
  12. ^ Brown, Erin (2003-04-25). "Congressional Approval of Solar Power Bill Proves ICC To Be Ahead of Its Time". The Hoya. Retrieved 2010-05-31.