University of Wisconsin-Madison Education Building: A New Benchmark for Sustaina

University of Wisconsin-Madison Education Building: A New Benchmark for Sustainability


As cash-strapped universities and colleges increasingly rely on private donors to fund capital building projects, donors are bringing two mandates to the drawing table: That existing buildings be adaptively reused whenever possible, and that projects incorporate sustainable-design strategies.

The newly renovated and enlarged Education Building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), exceeded both of these "green" and cost-saving mandates. As a result, the benchmark project is a model for the sustainable reuse of existing buildings at universities throughout the country.

In addition to providing a new home for the School of Education in an historic Beaux Arts building, designed in 1900 by architect J.T.W. Jennings, HGA integrated an array of now-accepted, as well as groundbreaking sustainable technologies. For example, the building is the first in the Midwest to use an active chilled beam system for cooling and ventilation. As a result, it is also one of the first in the State of Wisconsin to receive an Energy Star rating, a Federal designation that recognizes energy efficiency. Submitted for LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the Education Building Renovation and Addition Project has set a new standard for environmentally sound capital projects.