The University System of Maryland in Southern Maryland (USMSM) recently completed its newest building, the Southern Maryland Autonomous Research and Technology, or SMART, Building. The new 75,000 square foot facility will contribute to pioneering technology in the Unmanned Autonomous Systems (UAS) space.
Designed by Cooper Carry, the project is a cross between a traditional educational environment and a research institution that supports the development of high-tech autonomous machines capable of traveling by land, sea or air. Cooper Carry created a master plan for the complex oriented around a new quadrangle of campus that replaced an old surface parking lot. The design allows users to easily walk through the facility and access different research rooms.
The building includes the Maryland Autonomous Technology Research and Innovation Xploration (MATRIX) Laboratory, which includes an 80-foot-by-60-foot outdoor ground lab, an outdoor train lab for vehicle testing, an augmented reality research space, and in virtual reality, a robotics laboratory, and a circulating water channel.
Also included are numerous makerspaces, including a machine shop, carpentry shop, 3D printing labs, project assembly space, and an electronics shop for designing and building self-driving vehicles . Students will have access to 16 flexible classrooms and engineering teaching labs equipped with state-of-the-art lab equipment and technology for enhanced learning.
“We have designed a space that seamlessly connects the missions of students, faculty, researchers and STEM industries to spark new avenues of innovation and create opportunities in autonomous science and artificial intelligence,” said Brent Amos, director of Cooper Carry’s Science + Technology studio, in an outing. “We were excited to integrate amenities from both a non-scientific and scientific perspective, from public meeting spaces for colleagues and students to highly sophisticated lab spaces that enable cross-collaboration between distinct groups. Each of these elements helps create a truly functional research facility that sparks imagination and tangible solutions. »
Sustainability features include bioswales to manage and channel stormwater through natural systems, floor-to-ceiling windows, building envelope designed to reduce energy consumption, improved indoor air quality, state-of-the-art lighting and electrical systems and biophilic design principles. that connect users to the natural environment. Perforated metal screens on the south and west facades provide shade and protection from extreme sun conditions while letting in daylight and views from the interior spaces.
The project received LEED Gold certification.