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Kalwall® Featured: Guide Dogs for the Blind New Student Residence

Posted by Kalwall in Architecture, Education on 08/26/2015

Studio Bondy Architecture incorporated Kalwall® translucent composite sandwich panels to thoughtfully craft a new facility that caters to the needs of the blind and their service animals.


Guide Dogs for the Blind raises service dogs and provides training to approximately 350 visually impaired people each year across two campuses in California and in Oregon at no charge. On the San Rafael campus, Studio Bondy Architecture designed a new student residence that houses guest rooms, community spaces, classrooms, and administrative offices. Folding forms and simple materials characterize the architecture, and deep roof overhangs,
layers of glass, and day-lit corridors of Kalwall provide transparency and natural ventilation. “It is a serene, beautiful place for learning,” says Laura Rambin, principal at SBA.

Although LEED® certification was an initial goal, the non-profit chose not to pursue it in the end due to cost. “Every dollar spent is a dollar that must be donated to the organization,” Rambin says. The new building incorporates all of the sustainable features required by the California Green Building Standards Code, which is essentially equivalent to LEED® Silver.

(Initially printed in Green Building & Design in May/June 2015 issue)