College of Charleston Field Laboratories

College of Charleston Field Laboratories

Dixie Plantation Conservation Easement, SC

These multi-discipline field laboratories are located at a remote site along the Stono River in the ACE Basin. The building solution integrates with the site’s natural resources to support field research for biology, environmental science, marine biology, archeology and geology.

Rainwater collects for all non-potable interior and exterior water uses.  All facilities cool naturally through passive ventilation, supported with solar chimneys and geothermal HVAC (the geothermal system also provides domestic hot water). A roof mounted solar photovoltaic array offsets the facilities’ electricity requirements.

All facilities are located at previously disturbed sites and designed to promote restoration of the surrounding natural habitat.


Concrete, FSC Certified Cypress and Southern Yellow Pine, heavy timber, marine grade galvanized and stainless steel, tongue and groove shiplap wood finishes.


Participant in the International Building Challenge Demonstration


Architectural: Scott Johnston

Structural: Professional Engineering Associates

Systems: Caviness Lambert Engineering

Civil: Darrohn Engineering

Landscape: Earth Design

Ecology: Greenfields Consortium

Constructor: LCM

Additional Photos

Lake Conestee Environmental Discovery Center
Duke Energy Village