Convention Center to resemble the field it replaced

April 15, 2010 by Avra Elliott NMSU Round Up

Parking lot rows divided by plants is one way the under-construction Las Cruces Convention Center resembles the agriculture it replaced said a local architect at the monthly Sustainability Council meeting Wednesday.

Steve Newby, a the local architect involved with the convention center being built on University Avenue, spoke about the design plans with the sustainability council. He described the building as very sustainable and energy efficient as well as trying to keep with the concept of the college.

“This is a rare opportunity for city and campus to work together,” Newby said.

Part of the agreement with the college involved the convention center having ten positions for Hotel Restaurant Tourism and Management students.

Newby said the building site had been called a sacred agricultural site and the designers have tried to integrate the original agricultural feel.

“The carpet design emulates crop rows,” Newby said and explained the designers wanted “alliteration” to the grounds original use.

While designing the building photos were taken of colors and textures in the desert to implement in the building.

The design also includes many windows not only to add aesthetic benefit but to use natural light. Newby said that appeal and sustainability marry together well.

The building will face into the street Newby said, adding to street life.

Newby said 75% of the construction waste will be recycled. This and other details will make the convention center Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified and Newby says they also hope to be LEED silver.

One of the more challenging details is making the kitchen sustainable. Newby said it would be one of the largest kitchens in Las Cruces and be able to produce 1,200 meals an hour.

Avra Elliott is a staff writer and can be contacted at trunews@nmsu.edu.


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