ACE Project Wins Best Sustainable Design

North Central College’s innovative and environmentally friendly Residence Hall/Recreation Center has earned two construction awards for its sustainable design.

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) awarded the facility the 2011 honor for Best Sustainable Design. The Res/Rec Center also received a 2009 ASHRAE – Illinois Chapter – Excellence in Engineering Award and an honorable mention in the Harry H. Edwards Industry Advancement Award category.

“The sustainable design and construction of the Res/Rec Center offered an innovative solution to preserving green space within a land-locked campus while providing our students with a building that promotes an active and healthy lifestyle,” says Abby Hahne, the College’s sustainability coordinator. “The Res/Rec Center integrates many principles of sustainable development to positively impact human and environmental health.”

The Res/Rec Center is the nation’s first combined residence hall and recreation center on a college campus. It opened in September 2009. The 201,439-square-foot building conserves land on North Central’s 59-acre campus in Naperville’s Historic District by combining two large buildings in one. The four-story, 265-bed dormitory is wrapped around a recreation center that includes a 62,000-square-foot field house.

“The purpose of (the Best Sustainable Design) award is to encourage the construction of responsible, innovative designs that are sensitive to the environment while meeting the needs of the public, owner, and occupants,” the PCI said in announcing its 2011 awards. “The purpose of (the Harry H. Edwards Industry Advancement Award) is to showcase fresh, uninhibited concepts that hold the potential to move the industry to the next generation of technology for industry, materials, products, processes, and applications.”

Naperville-based Dukane Precast Inc. supplied the concrete panels used in construction of the Res/Rec Center.

The field house has 50-foot precast concrete walls and 180-foot-span roof trusses that allow for an open-spaced 200-meter indoor track, activity courts and suspended walking track. The surrounding residence hall features precast concrete double walls, precast columns, beams, stairs and water retention storage tanks. The building also features energy-efficient windows, radiant heat, high-efficiency air conditioning, heat recovery ventilators, a domestic hot water waste heat recovery system, a white membrane roof to reduce the heat island effect and low-flow plumbing fixtures. It also features one of the largest geothermal installations in the Midwest with 60 650-foot deep geothermal wells, as well as underground precast double-wall storm water retention tanks.

The architect for the Res/Rec Center is Buchar, Mitchell, Bajt Architects, Inc., based in Joliet, IL. Consulting architect is Loebl Schlossman & Hackl, based in Chicago. Construction administration is Mustang Construction Co, based in Naperville. Interior design is by Barbara’s Interiors, based in Naperville. Civil engineer is CEMCON, Ltd., based in Aurora. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer is Mark Nussbaum, P.E., Architectural Consulting Engineers, based in Oak Park. LEED consultant is Charlie Saville of Sieben Energy Associates, based in Chicago.

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