Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

Exemplary design categories: energy efficiency, flexible learning settings, school/community regeneration

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
In redeveloping the campus, a primary challenge was to create a heart for the school, in which the life of the school would be evident to the business school community and to outside visitors. By demolishing existing buildings around one of the courtyards and creating a winter garden at the centre of the new building, the development links the new and existing buildings effectively. It is also an environment that blends sensitively with neighbouring properties. This has been achieved by setting the building back from the property line, by using massing strategies that reduce its scale, and by carefully selecting materials. Tiered classrooms, the fundamental building block of a business school, have been designed with extreme care, and offer integrated technology, good sight lines and comfort. A uniform system of same-size faculty offices with optional furniture layouts defined in “office neighbourhoods” inspired the massing and design of the upper levels of the building. The winter garden is instrumental in creating a sense of community. It incorporates a student lounge, study lounge and café, and it is animated by major circulation routes, both vertically and horizontally, and campus through traffic. This new interior gathering space introduces daylight into the centre of the building. The winter garden is one of the energy conservation showpieces of the project. This space is conditioned using displacement ventilation, which requires less fan energy, cooling and heating usage. Heat is allowed to stratify upward, so that only occupied portions are conditioned in the summer. In the winter, this heat provides a buffer between the outdoors and the occupied space. Classrooms are conditioned using underfloor air distribution, which uses less energy than conventional overhead cooling, while providing superior indoor air quality. They are equipped with high efficiency lighting systems, and occupancy sensors control lighting to further reduce energy consumption. Daylight sensors on the exterior and in the winter garden tailor lighting loads according to demand and allow for natural lighting. The building includes three green roofs which provide for a decreased heat island effect, storm water retention and increased roof insulation. Non-green roofs are provided with a highly reflective roof to reduce the heat island effect and energy consumption.

Activity Areas: Winter garden, classrooms, 42 group study rooms, trading floor, offices auditorium, servery; student organisations; building support

Project costs: USD 124,700,000.00

Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" (OECD, 2011)

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