Johnson County Community College
Galileo's Pavilion

About the Building

Galileo’s Pavilion (GP), a 3,000 square foot, student-centered sustainable building on JCCC’s campus, opened in August of 2012. The building, which was certified as a LEED Platinum facility in August 2013, contains two general education classrooms and a student lounge. Galileo's Pavilion was conceived, designed and built by the University of Kansas Master of Architecture 2011-2012 Studio 804 program. The concept of a model green building on JCCC’s campus was inspired, subsequently advocated, and partially funded by the JCCC Student Sustainability Committee.

The purpose of the building is to demonstrate a variety of green building practices to students across campus, from technology programs accessing the HVAC system, to multi-discipline course offerings in the two classrooms, to students passing through the lounge and reading the detailed educational signage.

Building Features

The centrally-located, south-facing building incorporates a number of notable sustainable features, including:

  • A 9,68kW solar array of 44 photovoltaic panels and a 2.4kW wind turbine providing electricity directly to the building
  • Three floor-to-ceiling living green walls, one in each module of the building
  • LED lighting in the lounge and vestibules
  • Rooftop rainwater is captured and collected in a 1700 gallon cistern and is then used to irrigate the green walls and to supply the flush valves in the restrooms
  • Green roof trays help keep the building cool
  • Reclaimed glass windows provide ample daylighting
  • Repurposed slate chalkboards line the building exterior and accent the interior
  • Blown cellulose insulation
  • Concrete floors provide thermal mass for passive solar heating
  • Frosted louvers on the windows are fixed to provide maximum shading in the summer months
  • A rain garden slows and filters any rainwater running off the landscape

For more specifics on the particular sustainable features of Galileo’s Pavilion, take a peek at the educational panels viewable in the building lounge.

Galileo’s Garden Sculpture

Galileo’s Pavilion shares a site with Galileo’s Garden (1984), a sculpture by artist Dale Eldred, for which the building is named.  An homage to Galileo Galilei, the sculpture functions as a timepiece, tracing the sun’s path through the sky in a year. The sculpture previously stood alone on the same site, which was the most ideal location for the new building. Rather than relocate the sculpture, Studio 804 saw remarkable synergy between the building’s use of the sun and all of the ways they wished to incorporate the sun into the building’s design. They pursued a design with the sculpture in mind, placing it in the courtyard of Galileo’s Pavilion where it stands today.

Schedule A Visit

The lounge of Galileo’s Pavilion is accessible to visitors from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you wish to schedule a guided talk and tour for your class, club, or group, or if you are interested in holding a meeting or special event in Galileo’s Pavilion, contact Sustainability Education and Engagement Coordinator, Kristy Howell at or 913-469-8500 ext. 2883.