The Business Instructional Facility at the University of Illinois College of Business in Champaign, Ill., meets students’ needs for classroom and study space while incorporating sustainability measures that students lobbied for, earning it LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The designation reflects the importance of social and professional responsibility to students, staff, faculty, friends, and alumni, according to Larry DeBrock, dean of the College of Business.

The facility—designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New York—houses classrooms, offices, and a 300-seat auditorium. A natural light-filled atrium is the building’s centerpiece. Energy-saving features reduce energy use by approximately 50 percent and utility costs by up to $300,000 per year. Sustainable components include solar panels; roof plantings to insulate the building and reduce water runoff; filtered, humidity-controlled, low-velocity air delivered at ambient temperatures to improve IAQ; Wausau, Wis.–based Wausau Window and Wall Systems’ 7250 Series SuperWall and 8750 Series structural-glazed curtainwall; and triple-glazed, operable windows in the classrooms and offices.

Although less than 25 percent of the building is glazed, it appears to be more because windows placed horizontally at eye-level allow occupants to see outdoors, creating the perception of abundant natural light on sunny days. More than 13,000 square feet of curtainwall and 400 offset windows adorn the building.

In addition to Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, PSA Dewberry, Peoria, Ill., was the architect of record. Atelier Ten, New York, counseled the project and design team on massing, daylighting, thermal zoning, and mechanical system types. Chicago-based Gilbane Building Co. managed construction and oversaw 14 different contractors.