Project Completion Year
Project Location: City
Project Location: State
Project Location: Country
United States of America
The project involves the complete renovation and expansion of Kresge Centennial Hall on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus, the university's first LEED platinum project. As home to the humanities at Northwestern, we were challenged not only to provide sorely needed updated facilities for the 20 plus departments that call Kresge Hall home, but to create a dynamic environment that could change and evolve with the latest innovations in teaching and research.
The design team started with a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the many stakeholder’s space, program and adjacency requirements. The outcome of this collaborative effort has produced a design that ties the complex together into a single, visually and organizationally coherent structure. The project improves and clarifies building organization and department identities while introducing social spaces and contemporary technology specific to art and humanities education.
The most exciting aspect of the Kresge Hall expansion was the opportunity to collaborate with the University to investigate and define state-of-the-art teaching facilities for the Humanities in a manner comparable to the innovations more frequently seen today in STEM education.
Sustainable Design Intent and Innovation
The project has achieved LEED Platinum certification
Originally constructed in 1954, Kresge Centennial Hall was renovated to create a modern, comfortable, healthy, and green work and study environment for students, faculty, and staff. The renovation project completed in the fall of 2016, and the updated space houses many of the humanities departments from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. As part of Northwestern’s commitment to sustainable practices, Kresge was designed to meet high standards for energy efficiency, indoor air quality, use of sustainable materials, and other green building practices. In September 2017, Kresge Centennial Hall became the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified building on campus
The upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are designed to be highly energy efficient. Radiant ceiling panels, or chilled sails, in all offices and classrooms use chilled water from the Central Utility Plant to reduce the amount of energy needed for air conditioning.
Classrooms were retrofitted with carbon dioxide sensors, which adjust the need to bring in outside air based on room occupancy. This system cut costs associated with ventilating empty or nearly vacant rooms.
The building envelope (the outer shell of the building) was also upgraded for energy efficiency. The exterior wall insulation and new windows both have the highest available grade for insulating value. The building’s total annual energy usage was modeled to be more than 40 percent lower than the baseline set by ASHRAE standards.
Upgrades to the electrical system include daylight sensors that automatically dim lights during the brighter times of the day. In addition, highly efficient and extremely durable LED lights were used throughout the building, and occupancy sensors are in place to shut off lights in empty rooms.
Renewable energy was also added to the building. A 254-solar panel array on the roof is capable of generating 81 kilowatts of electricity, enough to offset 5 percent of the building’s electricity costs.
-40% regional energy reduction
The location of the building made it possible to earn a number of sustainable sites credits, including credits for using a site that had already been developed, therefore reducing requirements for new urban infrastructure. It is also located near many services, allowing building users to walk or ride a bike to make use of those services. Those who work and study in the building can easily access public transportation, and Northwestern Shuttle stops, and the site offers eighty bike parking spaces. This feature encourages the use of alternative transportation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles.
-Transit score - 50
-Walking score - 37
Kresge Centennial Hall was outfitted with low-flow plumbing fixtures, which conserve water. New urinals use an eighth of a gallon per flush, and standard toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush, resulting in a 35 percent reduction in water consumption in the building. The landscaping design also reduces water consumption thanks to a highly efficient irrigation system and the use of adapted plants that require minimal watering.
-100 % precipitation managed on-site
-35% regulated potable water reduction from baseline
To reduce the environmental impact of the products used in this project, 30 percent of the total materials purchased were produced within 500 miles of the site. In addition, 22 percent of the materials used contain recycled content, and almost 95 percent of the new wood used was harvested from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests. Most significantly, over 75 percent of the existing building envelope and structure was reused. Also, 93 percent of all waste generated during construction was diverted from landfills through recycling or reuse.
The Kresge Centennial Hall project team used 100 percent low-emitting materials such as adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, flooring and composite wood. This minimizes emissions of pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde, resulting in better indoor air quality.
Other measures to enhance indoor environmental quality include the use of carbon dioxide sensors to increase air circulation to densely occupied spaces when necessary, overall increased ventilation based on national ventilation standards, and careful construction techniques to reduce pollution during construction. Lighting, heating and cooling controls are provided for building users, enhancing user comfort.
Design Architect (FIRM)
Lothan Van Hook Destefano Architecture LLC