University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – Campus Instructional Facility

UIUC

A flexible new center for learning and technology designed in tandem with students and teachers, the Campus Instructional Facility (CIF) is on track to achieve net zero operational carbon.

Project Facts
  • Status Construction Complete
  • Completion Year 2021
  • Design Finish Year 2019
  • Size Number of Stories: 4 Building Gross Area: 124,000 square feet
  • Awards
    2022, Capitol Award, AIA – Illinois Chapter 2022, Honor Award for Excellence in High Performance Buildings, AIA – Illinois Chapter
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED BD+C NC (New Construction) Platinum, BD+C, Platinum
  • Collaborators
    David Mason & Associates - Chicago Shen Milsom & Wilke Site Design Group, Ltd. dbHMS Primera Engineers RR+J Archiluce International, Inc. Fortune Shepler Saling Pepper Construction Company Campbell Coyle Vermilion Development
Project Facts
  • Status Construction Complete
  • Completion Year 2021
  • Design Finish Year 2019
  • Size Number of Stories: 4 Building Gross Area: 124,000 square feet
  • Awards
    2022, Capitol Award, AIA – Illinois Chapter 2022, Honor Award for Excellence in High Performance Buildings, AIA – Illinois Chapter
  • Sustainability Certifications LEED BD+C NC (New Construction) Platinum, BD+C, Platinum
  • Collaborators
    David Mason & Associates - Chicago Shen Milsom & Wilke Site Design Group, Ltd. dbHMS Primera Engineers RR+J Archiluce International, Inc. Fortune Shepler Saling Pepper Construction Company Campbell Coyle Vermilion Development

Flexibility for new modes of learning

CIF is a new center for learning designed to meet the changing needs of students and faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Located at the northwest corner of the Bardeen Quadrangle along Springfield Avenue and Wright Street, this teaching hub enables collaboration and incorporates new technologies for hands-on learning. The University partnered with developer Vermilion Campbell in a public-private partnership, introducing a successful new financial model for University of Illinois projects.

UIUC
© Dave Burk | SOM

The building celebrates the university’s mission to cultivate research and discovery and includes flexible classrooms and reconfigurable spaces designed to evolve as needs change. Structure and architecture are carefully integrated, with exposed structural steel elements supporting the building’s architectural massing throughout, seamlessly integrating radiant cooling and heating. Research for structural optimization, fireproofing and MEP were done in collaboration with UIUC engineering students and faculty, and the building itself is now part of the engineering school curriculum.

UIUC
© Dave Burk | SOM

New spaces that inspire

Collaboration hubs on each floor encourage informal gathering, along with the multi-story Study Steps—a gathering space framed by soaring structural trusses, which extend from floor to ceiling and connect with the levels above. A central circulation spine anchors the building’s public spaces, providing views across all floors and overlooking the Bardeen Quadrangle, the library, and the north-south pedestrian axis. A 60-foot long-span space with flexible partitions accommodates large class configurations, while small classrooms are distributed along the building’s core, and a 500-seat auditorium is located in the lower level. Designed to respect and complement the scale and materials of surrounding buildings, the center is clad in brick and curtains of glass, maximizing natural lighting and enhancing views. 

UIUC
© Dave Burk | SOM

Comprehensive environmental graphics borrow inspiration from the University’s “power of ‘I” campaign by integrating “I” words such as “innovation” and “inclusion” throughout the building. Large graphic portraits of notable alumni are featured throughout the building, fostering a spirit of ambition and institutional pride among students, and instilling a deeper understanding of their legacy within the university and beyond.

New spaces that inspire

Deep dive: The most sustainable addition to the UIUC campus

The Campus Instructional Facility is on track to achieve net zero operational carbon in its first year—a milestone in the university’s pledge to reach carbon neutrality across its campus by 2050. Targeting LEED Platinum and LEED Zero Energy certifications, the building is also anticipated to perform 54 percent above the ASHRAE standard and 82 percent above the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey standard. The team continues to monitor embodied carbon and whole life carbon post occupancy. To reduce maintenance and utility costs, net zero operational carbon is targeted through a reduced window wall ratio, radiant systems, low-VOC materials, electrochromic glazing on the east/west facades for shading, ground source heat exchange partially funded by a grant from the university’s Student Sustainability Fund, and a photovoltaic allocation from the UIUC Solar Farm. The building is all electric, aligning with UIUC’s decarbonization plans to prepare for a fossil-fuel-free and carbon neutral future.

UIUC
© Dave Burk | SOM

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