University of Florida Begins New Natural Resources Building Effort

Early planning is underway for a new comprehensive natural resource building to be located on the main University of Florida campus.

The building would house seven programs, including several within the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), and provide an innovative and collaborative learning environment that centralizes the faculty, staff, and students of these units.

“Our vision for this building is to provide opportunity for collaboration and integration not only within these programs, but also with one another,” said Scott Sager, assistant director in the UF/IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries and Geomatics Sciences.

The U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovation Grant Program is funding the initial planning efforts, supporting the programming and concept design of the new building, as well as exploring the opportunity to construct the building using mass-timber materials. Mass-timber construction utilizes wooden boards to construct beams and structural panels. The use of wood, as opposed to concrete or steel, creates a significantly lower carbon footprint, as well as shorter overall construction time.

“This award uniquely positions the University of Florida to be a leader in resilient and ecologically conscious building practices,” Sager said.

The building site is proposed to be located between the Reitz Union/Constans Theatre and McCarty Hall A. The effort’s planning and design is led by Christopher and Shawna Meyer of Atelier Mey in Miami. Atelier Mey designed and built the first mass-timber structure in Miami-Dade County and continues to collaborate within the forestry and timber industry to design new mass-timber projects.

About the Wood Innovation Grant Program

The U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovation Grant funding supports the expansion of wood energy markets and the application of timber as a construction material in commercial and institutional buildings to support the sustainable management of the National Forest System and other forest lands. The program is funded by the USDA 10.674 Wood Utilization Assistance.

Learn more about the award and other recipients: products/wood-innovation-2022-grant-recipients.

About Atelier Mey

Led by Principals Christopher Meyer, AIA, and Shawna Meyer, AIA, Atelier Mey was established in Miami as an interdisciplinary full-service design firm building on two decades of professional design experience. Projects are realized at varying scales and range from the intimacy of the human body to the assemblage of architecture into urbanism.

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. | @UF_IFAS

IFAS is an equal opportunity institution. 

The work upon which this project is based was funded in whole or in part through a grant awarded by USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call toll free voice (866) 632-9992, TDD (800) 877-8339, or voice relay (866) 377-8642.USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.


Posted: October 18, 2022

Category: Forests, Natural Resources
Tags: Building, Forest To Building, Mass Timber, Natural Resources, Timber

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