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Debra March Center of Excellence

Awards Category

Institutional Architecture - Built

Project Summary

The Center of Excellence is a partnership between the City of Henderson and College of Southern Nevada. Located at 2200 Via Inspirada in West Henderson, this facility is a critical feature for diversifying industry in Nevada by fulfilling a need for high-skilled, advanced manufacturing training. This structure is a valuable resource for both businesses who want to relocate to the area as well as existing locally based companies looking to expand, by providing training for the manufacturing techniques in use today and into the future. The Center of Excellence is in the burgeoning West Henderson area which boasts the popular Henderson Executive Airport and is home to a wide range of distribution centers, corporate headquarters and industrial parks. This building is more than just a training center, though. It represents the City’s commitment to economic development, education of its citizenry, and building carefully and sustainably in the desert. A workforce that is trained in the manufacturing techniques of the present and future is vital to Henderson’s future,

Project Narrative

The City of Henderson engaged the design team to develop a leading-edge facility for training and education to serve as a model for similar facilities elsewhere in the region and the country. The design team researched institutions at the forefront of design and functionality that have solved design challenges in a unique and innovative fashion. Bringing that knowledge to collaborative workshops with the city and other stakeholders, we developed the written and graphic program for the facility. The design team also translated the concepts into a basis of design including building features and characteristics drawn from the research and then synthesized with other project constraints, such as schedule and budget. The project is intended to accomodate future expansion, by adding laboratories and classrooms to the building - the early programming of the site intentionally allows for that. Combining disparate program elements (office space for the City, classrooms, multi-use rooms, and high-bay teaching laboratories proved a challenge that the desing team met through careful organization and logical planning. The team understood that the structure needed to be durable, since it serves both a long term landlord (the City), and the high traffic patterns of a teaching institution. The structure also needs to address its place in the environment - natural light penetrates to the interior of the building, but is mediated by stone gabion walls. These walls also root the structure in this particular place - recalling and emphasizing the rocky volcanic origins of the local landscape. Opened in Fall of 2023, the Center of Excellence demonstrates the City of Henderson’s commitment to improving the lives of its residents and businesses.

Sustainable Design & Materials

The Center of Excellence takes from its surroundings. Nestled in the ground and with respect to the basalt flats of the area, this facility boasts a solid thermal envelope, is rotated 15 degrees to protect from the sun during peak hours. Protection of south and western glazed exposures is achieved through overhangs, deep set glazing and gabion walls. Other resource saving features include water efficiency through use of low-flow fixtures, reduction of energy usage using LED lighting, modern HVAC equipment, on-site solar energy generation, and use of recycled, natural, and recyclable materials; low or no-VOC coatings. Between these items and other sustainability measures, the project was awarded two (2) Green Globes by the Green Building Initiatives.

Project Stats

Square Feet


Green Building Designation(s)

Green Globes - 2

Date of Completion

March 2023

Project Location

2200 Via Inspirada, Henderson, NV 89044, USA

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