Natural Science Complex

South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia, WA


Higher Education


Civil Engineering

Structural Engineering



Lab space


Educational stormwater pond a highlight of new Natural Sciences Complex at South Puget Sound Community College

AHBL provided civil and structural engineering services for pre-design and design of South Puget Sound Community College’s new Natural Science Complex. The project involved 55,000 sf of new construction, and bid alternates for a greenhouse, concrete walk along the access drive, and a renovation to the campus’ existing Building 32.

The Natural Science Complex is a 3-story L-shaped building, with one wing devoted to lab space, and the other wing featuring lecture space, classrooms and offices. A unique design consideration is the seismic separation between heavy cast-in-place concrete of the lab wing and the steel-framed lecture wing, because these materials respond differently during a seismic event.

The civil design includes a stormwater pond for infiltration and detention in the interior courtyard of the complex, serving as an educational piece. In collaboration with the architect and landscape architect, our civil design helped achieve the following LEED v2.1 credits: SS 6.2, Stormwater Management; WE 1.1 and 1.2, Water Efficient Landscaping; and WE 2, Innovative Wastewater Technologies. Other civil improvements include sidewalks for pedestrian access and a service driveway. Surfacing materials for the majority of concrete walks are permeable pavement. The complex was honored as a What Makes It Green? Regional Top Ten Green Award by the American Institute of Architects' Seattle chapter in 2009.