Steel Shots: Green Connection

The two-story Winter Garden includes a curved steel-framed glass roof. (Photo: Hedrich Blessing) 

Starting in 2007, Loyola University Chicago embarked on a seven-year, multi-building expansion to its North Shore Campus. The latest addition is the Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES).

A living/learning building, the IES combines academic and residential functions to create a unique and transformative educational experience. The academic portion of the 215,000-sq.- ft building is a multi-disciplinary, research-based facility that includes classrooms, research and teaching labs, a clean energy lab, an aquaponic farming display and a greenhouse. The residential portion of the program—San Francisco Hall—provides freshman and sophomore student housing along with a café and recreation areas. The existing Wright Hall and Chapel have been renovated and expanded into academic and administrative offices and form the northern end of the IES. San Francisco Hall forms the southern end of the facility and the Winter Garden links the two buildings.

The 20,000-sq.-ft expansion of Wright Hall and the 16,000-sq.-ft Winter Garden, the centerpiece of the project, both use structural steel framing; the Wright Hall expansion used ASTM A992 wide-flange columns and floor framing with composite metal deck slabs. W27×84 shapes were used to span the 30 ft between columns in the expansion because they allowed for smaller foundations in the new building, which wouldn’t interfere with the foundations of the adjacent existing buildings. Some of these were spread footings next to the existing structure and some were micropiles that were placed from inside the existing basement. Unreinforced web penetrations were provided in many floor beams, allowing the MEP systems to easily route above the ceiling, which was set just below the steel framing.

The Winter Garden link between San Francisco Residences and the Wright Hall expansion is a two-story structure that includes a curving steel-framed glass roof. The second floor of the structure (steel framing with a composite metal deck slab) forms the floor of the greenhouse and an aquaponics farming display. Since the greenhouse is a naturally ventilated space, PEX tubing was run throughout the composite slab to provide supplemental radiant heat during the colder months of the year.

To learn more about the project, see the article “Green Connection” in our current April issue (available now!).