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Academic Instructional Center: Western's new flagship for green construction

Natural ventilation: Differences in air pressure encourage air to flow from one part of the building to another. Keeping it cool: Exposed concrete throughout the building keeps the AIC from getting too hot. The concrete inside slowly absorbs heat during the day and releases it at night. Photo by Matthew Anderson

Constant adjustments: Radiant panels in offices, classrooms and restrooms circulate already heated water to boost local heat when necessary. Trickle vents behind the panels can bring in air from outside when small temperature adjustments are needed. Photo by Matthew Anderson

Keeping it cool: A solar shading system of stainless steel mesh and louvers on the building’s exterior keep the AIC from getting too hot. The shades prevent too much sunlight from entering through the massive windows. Photo by David Scherrer

Keeping it cool: A solar shading system of stainless steel mesh and louvers on the building’s exterior keep the AIC from getting too hot. The shades prevent too much sunlight from entering through the massive windows. Photo by Matthew Anderson

Morgan Filibeck, a WWU senior pursuing her finance degree, studies in one of the comfortable chairs in the AIC. The louvers behind her prevent too much sunlight from entering through the massive windows. Photo by Matthew Anderson

WWU senior Morgan Filibeck studies, at left, while psychology students Breanne Cullen and Amy Peterson chat on the floor below. The wooden louvers in the windows prevent too much sunlight from entering through the massive windows. Photo by Matthew Anderson

The AIC, located south of the Communications Facility, is the new home of the Psychology Department and the Communications Sciences and Disorders Department and clinics. With general university classrooms, lecture halls and computer labs, the 120,000-square-foot, $50-million two-wing center includes many Earth-friendly features. Photo by Matthew Anderson

Students study and relax in front of the massive windows overlooking Bruce Nauman's Stadium Piece sculpture and the other buildings located in the southern portion of campus. Photo by Matthew Anderson

Natural ventilation: Differences in air pressure encourage air to flow from one part of the building to another. Keeping it cool: Exposed concrete throughout the building keeps the AIC from getting too hot. The concrete inside slowly absorbs heat during the day and releases it at night. Photo by Matthew Anderson

The AIC, located south of the Communications Facility, is the new home of the Psychology Department and the Communications Sciences and Disorders Department and clinics. With general university classrooms, lecture halls and computer labs, the 120,000-square-foot, $50-million two-wing center includes many Earth-friendly features. Photo by Matthew Anderson

Keeping it cool: A solar shading system of wooden louvers on the building’s exterior keep the AIC from getting too hot. The shades prevent too much sunlight from entering through the massive windows. Photo by Matthew Anderson

The AIC, located south of the Communications Facility, is the new home of the Psychology Department and the Communications Sciences and Disorders Department and clinics. With general university classrooms, lecture halls and computer labs, the 120,000-square-foot, $50-million two-wing center includes many Earth-friendly features. Photo by Matthew Anderson