Location Upland, IN
Size 127,000 square feet
Completed 2012 (expected)
Program 30 teaching-and-learning classrooms, central atrium, social gathering spaces, general-use classrooms

Taylor University’s Euler Science Complex—a 127,000-square-foot building with 30 state-of-the-art teaching-and-learning rooms and a glass atrium that connects the Euler complex to the adjacent Nussbaum Building—is designed to be both sustainable in itself and an environmental learning tool for students who study biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, physics, math, and environmental science.

As a liberal-arts-and-sciences university in Indiana and one of the oldest evangelical Christian colleges in the United States, sustainability is pivotal to Taylor University’s mission and is embedded into every construction project, especially the Euler Science Complex, which is the school’s largest project to date with a construction budget of $27 million and an overall budget of $41 million.

“We wanted the building to reflect Taylor’s values,” says Mark Biermann, PhD, dean of the School of Natural and Applied Sciences. “It also had to be conducive to teaching, learning, and to provide the facilities for publishable research.” Construction will be completed by summer 2012, and the university is in the process of applying for LEED Gold certification. We acquired a breakdown of the green project.


Owner Taylor University
Architect The Troyer Group
Wind Turbines Endurance Wind Power
Photovoltaic System ECI Wind and Solar


Low-E glass throughout the science complex eliminates heat gain and UV rays while allowing natural sunlight in. In addition, a glass-walled staircase helps promote daylighting and invites people to take the stairs instead of the elevator. The central atrium, in addition to increasing daylight, also captures previously lost heat from the nearby Nussbaum Building.

Geothermal system

“Seven wells will provide temperature-constant water that will, via heat exchangers, temper a dedicated internal loop feeding water-source heat pumps, which condition the building spaces and add to its energy efficiency,” explains Gregg Holloway, supervisor of contracting and purchasing at Taylor University. Discharge water flows into a landscaped stream that adds to the appeal of the central campus area and replenishes a campus lake.


Furnishings, wall coverings, floor coverings, and finishes are low-VOC materials, many of which also have recycled content and were regionally sourced. Outside, the landscape uses native, low-maintenance plants that require little irrigation. Storm-water runoff passes through rain-garden-style detention areas to allow for percolation and sediment filtration and to prevent soil erosion. Parking lots were reconfigured to make way for walkways that lead into the building but also encourage recreational walking around campus.


Certification LEED Gold (expected)
Energy Wind and solar power account for 20% of energy needs, geothermal system employed
Lighting A glass-walled stairwell and heliostat bring sunlight to lower levels
Water Retention areas filter storm water and prevent soil erosion


A monitoring room with computers and other equipment will allow the students to track energy efficiency. “The school wanted hands-on things the students could see and learn from,” says Sam Jones, senior vice president of The Troyer Group, the architect on the project. “Virtually every aspect of the building’s functions will be available for student and faculty scholarship and learning.” Lighting controls include motion sensors and dimmable lighting controls for instructional purposes.

The heliostat

Capturing natural daylight was a challenge The Troyer Group overcame by installing a heliostat, “a big mirror that tracks and deflects sunlight,” Jones explains. At the center of the new building, the heliostat (pictured above) is 20 feet in diameter and runs from the lower level to the rooftop. At the top, a motorized mechanism keeps the mirror at a constant correct angle to the sun. It tracks the sun’s movement throughout the day and reflects light down to the lower level.

Renewable energy

Wind turbines by Endurance Wind Power and a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic system by ECI Wind and Solar are generating one-fifth of the building’s energy needs. “Euler uses two-thirds of the energy of a traditional building its size,” Holloway says. “In addition, 20 percent of its energy is coming from renewable sources.”

Rooftop garden

The rooftop garden insulates the building during the winter, absorbs sunlight during the summer, and reduces rainwater runoff and erosion. “It’s a living classroom,” Jones says. “There are walking paths around the garden to help students learn about plant life as well as an area for the astronomy class to look at the stars.”