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September 15, 2021updated 07 Dec 2021 8:43am

Virginia Tech breaks ground on Innovation Campus

The campus will consist of three new buildings, with the first being a gem-shaped building expected to open in 2024.

Virginia Tech in the US has commenced construction of its Innovation Campus located in North Potomac Yard, Alexandria.

The Virginia Tech Innovation Campus will comprise three buildings, with the first being a gem-shaped academic building of 300,000ft².

Planned to open for students in 2024, the 11-storey building will be built on an approximately 3.5-acre campus in the 19-acre first phase of a new mixed-use development and innovation district.

Being developed by JBG Smith, the mixed-use project is located in North Potomac Yard near the future Potomac Yard Metrorail Station.

The Innovation Campus will also comprise two other campus buildings, each measuring about 150,000ft².

Virginia Tech vice-president and executive director Lance Collins said: “This signature academic building will provide the space and environment for our faculty, students, and partners to collaborate and seek technology solutions to challenging societal problems.

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“We are committed to building a technology campus that attracts and develops diverse talent and bolsters the greater Washington, DC, metro area as one of the nation’s most innovative tech hubs.”

Computational and generative design techniques were used by SmithGroup for the building’s unique geometry.

The design enables capturing solar energy to maximise photovoltaic power generation.

Once completed, the Innovation Campus will have the capacity to host approximately 750 master’s and 200 doctoral students and graduate 550 master’s and 50 doctoral candidates annually.

Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said: “It will help us develop new and diverse talent pathways, explore new models of learning and discovery, and influence technology-related policy.”

In May, Boeing announced its plan to invest $50m in the Innovation Campus as the first foundational partner.

As part of phase one of the North Potomac Yard redevelopment, JBG SMITH plans to build six buildings south of the campus to offer a mix of office, retail and residential space.

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