RU’s Wabash Building Earns Another Honor for Sustainability

RU skyline AIAOn Oct. 25th, the Roosevelt University’s Wabash vertical campus building received an Honor Award for Sustainability from the American Institute of Architects at 2013 Designight. Described as the “premier architecture and urban design awards program” by William Leddy, the award is a public expression of the Institute’s standards for design excellence. Architects VOA Associates, Power Construction Company, and Roosevelt University accepted this prestigious honor at Navy Pier.

As noted on the AIA’s Designight 2013’s website:

A 32 story educational vertical campus, Roosevelt University’s Wabash Building plays a significant role in Chicago’s urban landscape. The most impactful sustainable achievement was locating this 420,000sf multi-use facility on a small 17,300sf mid-block greyfield.

Combining five buildings into one, this innovative program links classrooms, laboratories, administrative offices, student union, student services and 634 residential beds. Rising above and connecting to the historic Auditorium Building it creates an intriguing dialog between past and present.

This LEED Gold certified building achieves 28% energy and 35% water savings while receiving 72% of its energy through renewable sources. Building orientation, massing, strategic program stacking, natural ventilation, latent-heat recovery, and rainwater harvesting all contribute to its success. The building’s interior incorporates 38% recycled material, 73% FSC wood, composting system supporting the building’s urban farms, no/low VOC finishes, and abundant daylight.

The building supports the University’s mission of social justice as a learning-living laboratory for sustainability. Encouraging users to take the stairs and not the elevators through bright and visible stairwells is one way the building fosters sustainable behavior. Further sustainable educational opportunities occur through interior signage.

The Wabash Building enhances Chicago’s diverse community while providing a healthier environment to live, work and learn.

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