Beus Center for Law and Society in Downtown Phoenix is home to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and host Monica Nelson is finding out all about what makes it so special. She sits down with the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Tom Williams, to find out more about the design of the space. Williams explains the space is one building, but it is split down the middle by the “canyon space”. The “canyon space” was created for a couple reasons; in Arizona shade is treasured and the design uses a lot of glass and brings in natural light. The use of the “canyon” protects the glass from the sun by having it face the inside of the building. Secondly, it opens up the space to bring people in. He says the Beus Center for Law and Society is more than a law school; they want to engage with the public and what is happening in law and what other groups are doing in the community.
Sustainability is another part of the law school design and operation. Williams says ASU has a commitment to sustainability in all of their buildings. For the Beus Center, one area is cooling and insulation. The building is cooled by long grids of air vents on the floor to release air slowly and maintain more consistency in the temperature of the building. They also use double and triple pane Low-E glass in the windows throughout the building and all lights are LED. According to Williams the building uses 40% less energy than a building of comparable size.
The building also features an abundance of up-to-date technology from small screen kiosks around the building to large screens throughout. Technology is used in classrooms and spaces to access materials, to teach and to find out about the law. It reflects the cutting edge of the law school and who they are.