Harvard University's Campus Services and FMS
James Leynse

Harvard University's Campus Services and FMS

The Galante Architecture Studio as Architects

Any organization with thousands of residents provides services for all aspects of operations. Most towns have Departments of Public Works. Harvard University has the Campus Services Center. This 60,000 square foot facility consists of a new 10,000 square feet building next to a renovated former warehouse. The new building has a radiant heat slab, in floor bus lifts, and complex vehicle maintenance systems throughout. It is a precise box; one side scaled for function, the other scaled for the neighborhood. Adaptive re-use of the former warehouse is part of this office’s focus on sustainability. A football field size green space helps negotiate a relationship between facility and street path.


Detailed Insights The concept behind the design of Harvard Campus Services & FMS is an urban courtyard. There’s a new 10,000 SF building forming a courtyard between two existing buildings. Urbanistically, this allowed us to separate residential areas from daily university functions. By creating a courtyard, sound transfer was eliminated, visual access to university operations was limited, and all traffic patterns were diverted away from residential neighbors and on to commercial access streets. The building has five discrete functions; a shooting range for Police Training, a furniture recycling center, Information Technology Center, a mail sorting and distribution facility, traffic and parking operations, and the new building houses a repair facility for all fleet vehicles.


Mail sorting has robust equipment and is planned in a way to receive semi-trucks from the USPS filled with mail. Sorting is engineered in a way to manage distribution seamlessly from start to finish. The shooting range is designed to keep bullets contained for obvious reasons, but also manage airflow, lighting, and all elements in the direction of the firing lanes. Ease of maintenance was key to this facility. As a fast track project, it was built in 9 months – that’s 70,000 SF in nine months. 60,000 SF was adaptive re-use of an existing, but aging structure.


Rather than put this building in a landfill, a decision was made for sustainability reasons to re-purpose and re-build this building. While this was being renovated, a 10,000 SF pre-cast concrete facility was being made in a factory. Exterior Facade Materials: The existing building is concrete block, and aluminum panels. New roof is all white (60,000 SF of sustainability). New facility is precast, pre-insulated concrete panels with aluminum panel overlay. Interior Materials: Existing office finishes have GWB, Carpet, and Paint. The Shooting range has steel ceiling, concrete walls, and laminar HVAC wall. The repair facility is all durable concrete surfaces.


Furniture was re-cycled from many sources, built and used in sustainable fashion. 60,000 SF of re-purposed furniture goes a long way toward being sustainable. One cool fact about the building is that the floor of the repair facility is a radiant heat slab. During winter, buses laden with snow come in, and they let them sit for ten minutes. The buses heat up, the snow melts and the floor dries. It is warm, and safe for all staff members and the facility operates perfectly.


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