Bellevue University Sustainability Learning Lab

inside the greenhouse at Bellevue University Sustainability Learning Lab

Bellevue University Sustainability Learning Lab

Putting Sustainability and Science On Display

As Bellevue University began to expand its science, technology, engineering and math courses in biology and secondary education, it needed an outdoor lab facility to bring students hands-on experiences in studying sustainable resources. The Sustainability Learning Lab is meant to have a multigenerational appeal with a “show-and-tell” element that invites visitors of all ages to come and learn, while also serving as a research hub and testing site for local solutions to sustainability issues. This augments the university’s commitment to “Science on Display” with open visible areas for collaboration and instruction.

Defining features include:

  • Adaptable and flexible space for different types of instruction, collaboration and seasons of the year
  • The ability to record and broadcast experiments in the greenhouse, further exhibiting “Science on Display”
  • A native plant garden in the greenhouse/headhouse
  • Wind and solar generating stations to study renewable energy
  • Outdoor class space featuring a 1200-square-feet algae pond allowing for the creation of biofuels, as well as a cistern

The project required our team to assist in fitting all of the required elements of the lab and landscape on a relatively small site. To make the process as smooth and productive as possible, our team utilized building information modeling, had user group meetings and followed those up with regular meetings with the client throughout the project, as well as with Rough Brothers, who provided the greenhouse itself.

inside the greenhouse at Bellevue University Sustainability Learning Lab
Bellevue University

Bellevue, NE
United States

7,000 sf (650 m²)


Architecture Honor Award (2022)
American Institute of Architects Nebraska Chapter
Merit Award (2022)
Illuminating Engineering Society