About Science and Engineering Hall

GW's Science & Engineering Hall

GW's new Science and Engineering Hall (SEH)—the largest academic building dedicated to these fields in the nation's capital—meets the needs of the university's growing research portfolio and will serve as a hub for discovery, providing new opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration.

SEH's unparalleled location and state-of-the-art facilities enable students and faculty to strengthen existing partnerships and forge new ties with influential scientific and technical organizations.

Indeed, SEH exemplifies GW's long-term commitment to educate the next generation of innovators, as well as support our faculty as they develop knowledge that will help improve the lives of millions worldwide.


Reserve Space in SEH

Students, faculty, groups, and departments affiliated with GW may request use of certain spaces within SEH.  Visit our Facilities Services website to find more information and make reservations.

Schools in SEH

SEH currently houses over 150 faculty members and thousands of students from the Columbian College of Arts & Sciences (CCAS), the School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS), the School of Medicine & Health Sciences and the Milken Institute School of Public Health. These schools include 10 separate departments across the academic spectrum, and pursue innovation in everything from human origins to computing.   


Fields in SEH

  • SEH fields: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anthropology, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science

    Fields in the SEH promotion

Sustainable by Design

8,100 tons of carbon dioxide saved annually
Power from a co-generation system
A roof that keeps cool

SEH is targeting LEED Gold certification, and several measures have been undertaken to make the facility more sustainable, including:

Power From a Co-Generation System

Sharing Ross Hall's co-generation power system will reduce the building's carbon footprint by more than half, saving 8,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. That’s the equivalent of taking 1,500 vehicles off the road. 

A Roof That Keeps Cool

Vegetation covers more than 10,000 square feet of the roof, keeping the building cool by absorbing heat from the sun while also reducing rainwater runoff. The rest of the roof was made light in color to further maximize heat reflection.

Graywater Use

Rain from the roof drains into a 42,000-gallon cistern to be filtered and used to flush toilets, saving roughly 850,000 gallons of water per year.

Chilled Beams

Horizontal beams suspended from the ceiling use water to cool the air more efficiently than a conventional air-conditioning system.

Energy Recovery Wheels

This technology recycles conditioned air from the building in order to heat or cool incoming air, reducing energy needs. The savings are expected to pay for the system in less than three years.

The History of SEH

SEH building in early stages of construction

Conceptualizing SEH

With 80 percent growth in GW’s research funding during the past decade, a new building dedicated to science and engineering was a necessity.

Working with architecture firm Ballinger, GW envisioned a new building that would feature state-of-the-art facilities to further faculty members’ cutting-edge experiments. Research areas were designed to concentrate scientists and engineers with overlapping interests into “research neighborhoods” to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration. The building would also include integrated core facilities, modern equipment and collaborative workspaces while capitalizing upon its prime location to serve as an easily accessible hub for visitors, students, leading scientific experts and research partners from other institutions.

SEH Topping Off

Building SEH

After four years of construction, this eight-story, 500,000-square foot facility ultimately comprised of 14 floors: eight floors above grade and six floors below.

This massive undertaking required elaborate planning and delicate maneuvering by engineers, architects and construction crews. The imaging suite and nanofabrication lab, for instance, are engineered to dampen vibrations from the Metro. Instruments that use electrons for imaging and etching nanoscale devices are specially shielded from the magnetic fields produced by the subway’s high-voltage rails. 

SEH construction

Completing SEH

Throughout fall 2014, specialty lab spaces, interior finishes and laboratory casework neared completion. On November 21, SEH received its Certificate of Occupancy. Faculty and staff began moving into the building in December 2014, a month earlier than University officials had initially expected.

Read our research updates