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Building Campaign Provides a “Green” Foundation for Growth at FAU’s Harbor Branch

BOCA RATON, FL (April 22, 2010) A new, 43,646 sq. ft. “green” laboratory and office building, slated for occupancy in June 2011, serves as the center of a $44.6 million renaissance currently underway at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University . The new structure, designed to silver certification level of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, will replace lab space lost during the 2004 hurricane season and provide new capacity for expansion. Eco-friendly renovation of two other major facilities and numerous infrastructure improvements also are part of the plan.

Funding for the project, from the State Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO), was provided as part of the 2007 transfer of Harbor Branch to FAU.

“Becoming part of FAU was the start of a new era at Harbor Branch,” said Associate Executive Director Peter Tatro. “With a solid foundation, we’re no longer worried about the future – we’re charging toward it.”

The next most significant upgrade is a comprehensive renovation of the Link Engineering Building, a hub of campus activity that has seen few updates since its 1975 opening. In the past, the structure housed the administration offices, library, cafeteria, and labs for engineering, biology, biomedical, chemistry and marine operations. Renovated to LEED silver certification standards, it will re-open March 2011 as the Edwin A. Link Building, housing engineering labs, administration, the library and the cafeteria, which will gain a mezzanine and open onto a new courtyard.  The courtyard space, which also will be defined by the adjacent new laboratory building, is intended to become the new center of campus and will feature a dramatic view down the nearly mile-long Harbor Branch canal toward the Indian River Lagoon.

“The proximity of the Edwin A. Link and new lab buildings means that we’re going to have more scientists and engineers working closer together than ever before,” said Tatro. “We see the courtyard between the two buildings as a place where collaboration can take root and grow.”

Other work aimed at sustainability is the rehabilitation of the J. Seward Johnson Marine Education Center, which opened in 1991 and was battered by the 2004 hurricanes. Work crews installed tinted, impact-resistant windows and rebuilt the leaky roof with reflective roofing, both of which minimize heat gain, and completely caulked and resealed the structure to eliminate unwanted water and air intrusion. Low-flow flush valves will minimize water use, and high-efficiency air handlers, new ductwork and new light fixtures will save energy. Covering the exterior is a new coat of low-emitting paint, which minimizes the amount of volatile organic compounds released into the environment.

Additional campus improvements include modernized telephone and data wiring, a new guard house and improved entrance, upgraded fresh and waste water systems, and other miscellaneous infrastructure repairs and upgrades.

- FAU -

About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute:
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans.  Harbor Branch was founded in 1971 as a private non-profit organization. In December 2007, Harbor Branch joined Florida Atlantic University. The institute specializes in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, and marine education. For more information, visit .

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit .

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