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Move-in begins at UA's newest building

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Rebecca Noble/ Arizona Summer Wildcat

There is the old saying “you get what you pay for,” and this certainly applies to the UA’s newest building housed on Sixth Street.

For the cost of $75 million, the Environment and Natural Resources Phase 2 building will be the most modern and environmentally conservative building on campus.

As of this past week, departments began moving in and preparing for the new school year. The School of Geography and Development, the Institute of the Environment, the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Atmospheric Sciences, the Office of Arid Land Studies and some of the math department will now call ENR2 their new home on campus.

The building’s design was inspired by the American Southwest’s desert landscape, influencing its outward features to resemble the curvature of slot canyons. The slot canyon-inspired structure will provide shade in the outdoors and reduce the amount of heat absorbed by indoor areas, therefore reducing the energy spent on cooling.

An enormous focus was placed on shaping ENR2 into a sustainable, environmentally friendly education space. Many features throughout the building support a sustainable design.

“One of my favorite features is the 55,000-gallon tank under the building, which collects and harvests rainwater,” said Diana Liverman, co-director of the Institute of the Environment. “This water is then used for irrigation.”

Beside environmentally friendly features, Liverman explained that the Institute of the Environment also commissioned a local artist to create small steel cutouts of animals native to Southern Arizona.

“If you look throughout the floor of the building, you will find these steel cutouts of animals, including rattlesnakes, scorpions, birds and many more,” Liverman noted.

She added that about 5,000 students will attend classes in ENR2 each day.

The highlight of the building’s educational sector, according to Liverman, is the new 600-seat lecture hall that will be home to courses like Introduction to Oceanography.

According to the UA’s Planning, Design and Construction website, construction on the 150,000-square-foot building began in 2013, and the grand opening will take place on Thursday, Sept. 10.


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