Red Rock Desert Learning Center

Red Rock Desert Learning Center


near Las Vegas, Nevada

Line and Space has completed design development for the 140-bed Red Rock Canyon Desert Learning Center campus located on a 300-acre historic ranch site within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area west of Las Vegas, Nevada. The campus, conceived as a Mojave Desert immersion experience, includes separate administration, dining, dormitory, laboratory, instructor housing, support buildings (approximately 50,000 sf of conditioned space), site infrastructure, and adaptive reuse of historic structures. Trails connect various teaching venues such as the greenhouse, art pavilion, 600-foot solar bridge lined with tracking photovoltaic panels, lysimeter, weather station, astronomical observatory, ruins, and wetlands located throughout the property.

Since teaching children to take personal responsibility for the environment is fundamental to the curriculum, buildings such as dormitories and labs will depend heavily upon actively managed passive energy techniques such as night sky radiation, solar gain, and convective ventilation. Each component of the campus is designed to allow students to play an active role in their specific environment. As a whole, the facility will have opportunities for students to control their energy usage by taking advantage of daylighting, natural ventilation, and diurnal temperature changes relative to thermal mass. Through interpretive exhibits, the dormitory will have measurable water usage and the dining hall will have food waste calculations, composting, and visible water reclamation. Components of the project are designed to achieve LEED platinum.

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