TCNJ Brower Student Center Wins Distinguished Engineering Award

KSS is proud to announce that the Brower Student Center at The College of New Jersey has won a Distinguished Engineering Award from the New Jersey Alliance for Action. The Alliance, comprised of more than 2,500 of New Jersey’s top corporate, labor, professional, academic, and governmental representatives, aims to improve New Jersey’s economy through the promotion of capital construction and infrastructure investment. 

As architect for the Brower Student Center renovation and addition, KSS Architects led a project team that reimagined, revitalized, and adapted the existing building to transform the Brower Student Center from a 1960’s solid box into an open and engaging gateway to campus. Major areas of exterior and interior walls were broken down to reveal spaces for collaboration and rejuvenation, promoting an active “see and be seen” feel on campus. The design features open staircases and warm materials, accented by expansive windows providing effusive daylight and engaging views. 

Strategic engineering decisions increased the sustainability of the project, perhaps most notably, preserving existing building assets and transforming spaces to craft a more vibrant academic community. By retaining 90% of the 87,000 cubic feet of existing concrete structure and recycling the other 10% as well as retaining 60% of existing brick as well as skylights and recently replaced roofing, the design team drew on the project’s existing value. By transforming this existing canvas to elevate interior and exterior spaces spaces, the design team manifested in the design the College’s vision for student life into the future.

Designing to LEED standards, the project team applied sustainability efforts including storm water management, use of recycled materials such as repurposed barn wood and carpet and ceiling tiles composed of recycled content, and low flow fixtures. The Student Center exceeds ASHRAE modeling standards by 10% through the use of various building components including LED lighting controlled by occupancy sensors. Water Bottle Filling Stations were added to all drinking fountains to reduce plastic waste; in the one academic year the stations have been operational they have filled nearly 13,000 water bottles.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the project design team, the Brower Student Center now provides spaces that address students’ changing needs—places that celebrate the engagement, connectivity, and interdisciplinary nature of 21st Century education.

Project Design Team:

  • KSS Architects
  • Vanderweil Engineering (MEP/FP Engineering)
  • Harrison-Hamnett, P.C. (Structural Engineering)
  • Langan Engineering (Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Hazardous Materials Consultant)
  • Lighting Design Collaborative (Lighting Design)
  • Marshall/KMK (AV, IT, Acoustics & Security)
  • Toscano Clemente Taylor / MJA Construction Services (Cost Estimation)
  • Ricca Newmark (Food Service Planning)
  • Studio Bryan Hanes (Landscaping)

Commissioning by Horizon Engineering. New York, NY

Construction by Dobco Inc. Wayne, NJ

Public artwork “Sun/Moon” by EKE Art. Philadelphia, PA