A new building at the Metropolitan Community College (MCC) in Omaha has become a versatile research, development, and training resource for students and industry. Designed by BNIM, the 65,000-square-foot Center for Advanced and Emerging Technology (CAET) includes a virtual-reality lab, 3-D printing, laser cutters, plasma-cutting technology, and a high-bay space for such endeavors as prototyping new equipment.

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Central to an MCC 2010 master plan, which prioritized consolidating campus facilities, improving education delivery, and creating a job pipeline, the CAET also provides cutting-edge facilities to train professional teams. The contemporary steel structure, clad with white precast-concrete panels on the east and west, opens onto a two-story high-bay volume called Innovation Central with glazed garage doors. A main corridor on the north, the primary circulation spine, is the social hub and connects Innovation Central to the rest of the program: training rooms, a data center, multifunction spaces, and offices. Glass curtain walls provide views and daylight that reaches into interior training rooms, while a perforated metal screen on the building’s south elevation manages solar gain. The architects redeveloped an existing urban site for the project, where they improved stormwater management for the area. They also created pedestrian and public transportation connections to the neighborhood.

Since CAET opened in 2017, corporate training at MCC is up more than 300 percent, generating income for the school and employment opportunities for students. The building now serves as a national training center for EPI-USA, a California-based data-center-training organization. Additionally, in the first year of a new Prototype Design degree, six of 17 enrolled students received job offers after completing only half of a two-year program. Designed to be adaptable, the LEED Gold building will allow the school to grow and adapt to suit the spatial and technological needs of future students and business partners.

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BNIM (Design Architect / Architect of Record)

317 6th Ave #100, Des Moines, IA 50309


Holland Basham Architects (Executive Architect)

119 S 49th Ave, Omaha, NE 68132


Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Kevin Nordmeyer AIA, Jeff Shaffer, Dana Sorensen, Rod Kruse, Carey Nagle, Tina Wehrman, Sarah Hirsch


Architect of record:

BNIM (Design Architect / Architect of Record)

317 6th Ave #100, Des Moines, IA 50309



Associate architect(s):

Holland Basham Architects (Executive Architect)

119 S 49th Ave, Omaha, NE 68132



Interior designer:




MEP: Morrissey Engineers, Omaha

Structural: Nielsen-Baumert, Omaha



Civil and Landscape: Lamp Rynearson, Omaha

AV/IT: The Sextant Group, Kansas City


General contractor:

Kiewit Corporation, Omaha



BNIM | Nick Merrick © Hall+Merrick 2017



Metropolitan Community
College, Omaha



65,000 square feet



$20.4 million


Completion date:

June 2017



Exterior Cladding

Masonry: Product: Endicott Clay Products Co

Metal/glass curtain wall: Product: Kawneer

Rainscreen: Product: Knight Wall

Precast concrete: Enterprise Precast Concrete, Inc

EIFS, ACM, or other: Product: Reynobond ACM

Moisture barrier: Product: VaproShield

Other cladding unique to this project: Product: Swiss Pearl



Built-up roofing: Product: Carlisle TPO

Metal: Product: Firestone Metal Products



Glass: Product: Vitro Architectural Glass (Solarban 70XL)

Skylights: Product: Solatube



Entrances: Product: Kawneer

Metal doors: Product: Steelcraft

Wood doors: Product: VT Industries

Upswinging doors, other: Product: Schweiss Doors


Interior Finishes

Acoustical ceilings: Product: Armstrong

Acoustical ceilings: Product: Kinetics Noise Control

Suspension grid: Product: Armstrong

Suspension grid: Product: Kinetics Noise Control

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Product: Designer Woods, Inc

Paints and stains: Product: Sherwin Williams

Paneling: Product: Conwed Wall Technology

Solid surfacing: Product: Avonite

Floor and wall tile: Product: American Olean

Carpet: Product: Mohawk

Raised flooring:  Product: Interstitial Systems



Interior ambient lighting: Product: National Lighting

Downlights: Product: Lucifer

Exterior: Product: Lumenpulse

Dimming system or other lighting controls:



Elevators/escalators: Product: ThyssenKrupp



Energy management or building automation system: Product: GE Energy Management

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability: Product: Carlisle Roof Garden