Grinnell College Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA)

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  • AIA Chicago Sustainable Design Award
  • Environmental Design + Construction Excellence in Design Awards Finalist

The Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA) is a 365-acre nature preserve 14 miles southwest of Grinnell College. Holabird & Root designed an education center for the study of native plant and animal habitat, as well as a maintenance building for storing field equipment. The design minimizes disturbance of high quality prairie. CERA provides a large classroom, teaching laboratory, greenhouse, and support spaces for classes in field biology and environmental sciences. In addition, the facility is available to the public and the College for classes outside the sciences, including art and anthropology. An inherent component of Holabird & Root’s design is sustainability. CERA is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Rated, and it was the first building in Iowa to receive that rating.