New Duke-NUS med school building environmentally progressive, pretty

New Duke-NUS med school building environmentally progressive, pretty

Get to know Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School's green new digs
Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Designed by RMJM architects, the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School building gets 'green' certified for climate and temperature control.

While everyone's excited about the opening of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and its mission to make Singapore the "biomedical hub of Asia," architectural buffs are instead consumed by the building as a shining example of green design and environmentally conscious construction.

Duke-NUS Graduate Medical SchoolThe building uses exterior louvres and sunshades to protect interior spaces from Singapore's tropical climate.At 11 stories, the ‘vertical campus’ is designed to accommodate between 50 and 100 medical students and house research offices, laboratories, classrooms, lecture halls, a library, student lounges and administrative offices.

The attention-grabbing features, however, are the sustainable design elements used, which earned the building Green Mark certification. For example, the eight-story glass atrium, which Architecture Review calls the ‘heartbeat of the building’ and links the academic spaces on the ground floor to the research floors above, provides "vertical circulation as well as visual links between the different spaces in the building."

The building was also praised by designboom for its use of ceramic tiles, which contain titanium dioxide, a material which keeps maintenance down, withstands tropical mold and is believed to reduce pollutants in the air.

According to Channel NewsAsia, the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School was established in 2005 as a strategic partnership between Duke University and the National University of Singapore, and has embarked on research to tackle current health problems, such as cancer, dengue and Influenza A (H1N1) virus. The inaugural class of medical professionals will graduate in 2011.

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