American University of Central Asia
Award of Merit
Owner American University of Central Asia
Contractor Kent Construction
Lead Designer HMA2
Structural Engineer Ardak
MEP Engineer AKF Group LLC
The new campus of the American University of Central Asia, located outside Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, exemplifies how the modern world is transforming the capital of this former Soviet republic. Situated at an important way station along the historic Silk Road where Asia meets Europe, the project is a prototype for green building, improved building standards and transparency in central Asia. With a jagged roofline that evokes the surrounding mountain terrain, the five-story, multipurpose structure is a model of sustainable design. Featuring geothermal heating and cooling, the building uses radiant floor slabs, WIFI, natural lighting, high-performance glazing and insulation to optimize energy efficiency, comfort and multipurpose uses. The construction team successfully blended Kyrgyz labor, American design and materials from Turkey, Ukraine, Germany, Switzerland and the U.S. Communication was key, since multiple languages were involved. On site, various team members spoke to each other in Kyrgyz, Turkish, German, Russian and English. Fortunately, the Kyrgyz construction manager was multilingual, and Google Translate and Skype helped, too. Working through language and cultural barriers as well as variances in building codes and standards, the team came together to deliver a modern, efficient and functional building that owner, designer and builder agree will foster educational and democratic ideals.