Opened in June 2011, Brockman Hall of Physics is the home to the faculty and staff of Rice’s Physics, Astronomy, and Electrical and Computer Engineering Departments. Other features of the building include nanoengineering and photonics research facilities, 150-seat lecture hall, and a rooftop astronomical observatory. Green features of the building include:
- An open space beneath the north bar framed by tapered concrete columns that form an outdoor room with shaded areas for class meetings or casual gatherings.
- Parallel, rectilinear, spatial bars oriented east to west and connected by glass-enclosed bridges across an open passage to admits natural light and outdoor breezes.
- State-of-the-art equipment to supply these labs with “clean” electrical power, chilled water and filtered air that is cleansed of submicroscopic dust.
- An energy-recovery system that will save as much as 30 percent of the energy needed to cool the building in the summer.
- A dehumidification system, which turns Houston’s legendary humidity into an asset by capturing and returning 100,000 gallons of pure, clean water to Rice’s central plant each year.