The Davis Center for Human Ecology—the first of a constellation of six interconnected projects which will transform the north end of campus—recently opened for classes for the 2021 spring term, and will officially open in the fall of 2021.

The 29,000-square-foot building overlooking Frenchman Bay houses science laboratories, classrooms, flexible lecture halls, faculty offices, art and design studios, and a teaching greenhouse.

Classroom Credit: Jen Holt Photography

Designed in collaboration with architect Susan Rodriguez and Maine-based OPAL (formerly GO Logic), and constructed by local builder E.L. Shea, the Center is one of the most distinctive buildings on Mount Desert Island.

Constructed to the stringent German Passive House standard of energy efficiency and indoor air quality, the Center will consume 80% less energy than a comparable code-compliant building. The building makes extensive use of low-embodied carbon and locally sourced materials—including a nearly all-wood structure and wood fiber insulation—which radically reduce its lifecycle carbon footprint, effectively neutralizing the environmental impact of its construction. In addition, all windows feature innovative bird-friendly glazing to mitigate bird collisions. 

Here’s a sneak peek:

In addition to the Davis Center for Human Ecology, the reimagining of north campus includes expansion of Gates Auditorium to include an experimental theatre, renovation of the existing Arts & Sciences building, and construction of a new Welcome Center, which will house the Admission office and a new gallery.

$22M represents all costs associated with all new constructions, renovations of existing spaces, a $1M maintenance fund, and a $1M operating fund. Learn more.

Special thanks to:
Kate and Andrew Davis
Susan T. Rodriguez Architecture • Design
E.L. Shea Builders and Engineers
Revision Energy

Classroom Credit: Jen Holt Photography

Hallway Credit: Jen Holt Photography