The Civic Square Building, 33 Livingston Avenue
The construction of the Bloustein School’s home—the Civic Square Building—realized Dr. Bloustein’s vision that Rutgers University would one day occupy a physical position in the cultural and economic hub of New Brunswick, New Jersey, the host city of Rutgers’ flagship campus. One of the state’s most significant areas for education, health care, and the arts, New Brunswick is home to Rutgers’ historic Old Queen’s campus; Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Saint Peter’s University Hospital, and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The Bloustein School itself is located in New Brunswick’s thriving cultural area, with The State Theater, Crossroads Theatre, and the George Street Playhouse just steps away. Downtown New Brunswick offers something for every taste through a spicy menu of restaurants and entertainment venues.
The Civic Square Building epitomized public-private partnership during the city’s redevelopment in 1995, and was financed by nearly equal investments from Rutgers University and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, through the Port Authority’s mandate to promote economic and commercial redevelopment in the region.
Classrooms and Conference Rooms
Smart classrooms and seminar/conference rooms at the Bloustein School all feature wireless internet connections and ceiling mounted projectors with PC, audio and video hook-ups.
The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy operates a state-of-the-art computer laboratory used for both instruction and research. The school’s computing facilities include a main lab, a smaller “information gateway,” and dedicated studio classroom space.
The computer laboratory is used for graduate class instruction, workshops sponsored by the various centers affiliated with the school, and for professional continuing education. Research projects carried out in the laboratory include student projects, doctoral research analysis, and applied GIS grants and contracts.
The Living Wall
Within urban planning, green building is emerging as an important concept as a way to reduce or eliminate the negative environmental impact of development. In the fall of 2013, the Bloustein School installed the Living Wall as a way to put into action some of the best practices addressed by the school’s own Center for Green Building. The ideal solution for people with limited space who want to reconnect with nature in the built environment, the Living Wall contributes to the Civic Square Building’s aesthetics and also improves indoor air quality, and the evolution of the wall over time has become part of the school’s learning environment. Created and installed by EcoWalls, LLC, a full service living wall firm housed at the Rutgers EcoComplex in Bordentown, NJ, the company was founded by Rutgers alumni in 2008 with a simple goal — to provide a sustainable product that would not only perform, but perform using fewer resources.
All of the plants in EJB’s living wall were pregrown in special foam modules designed for growing plants vertically. The modules, which replace soil, are a more sustainable solution as the foam readily absorbs water and nutrients, and keeps them locked within the system. The unique hydroponic system developed by EcoWalls is completely housed in the wall behind the modules and within the base cabinetry; the irrigation supporting the plants is designed to be 100% water efficient, storing and reusing all excess water for future irrigation of the plants. The Bloustein living wall has been created with a variety of low-light tropical plant species, chosen not only for their interesting textures and vibrant colors that vary throughout the year, but for their ability to improve indoor air quality. The light fixtures installed above the feature are electronically controlled to provide the appropriate levels of light for growing.