Adaptive reuse unites sustainability and state-of-the art learning.
Meet the new addition.
Located at the intersection of Green Street and Mathews Avenue in Urbana, the Mechanical Engineering Building (MEB) is centrally located on the University of Illinois’ main campus. Constructed in 1947, the original 66,000 SF building has been renovated to meet new programmatic needs and adjacencies and adapt to rapidly changing pedagogies.
A five-level, 36,000 SF addition provides state-of-the-art instructional facilities, including active learning classrooms with audio-visual technology systems designed for short-term needs and long-term vision. A second addition infills the building’s exterior courtyard, expanding the existing building footprint and creating new, innovative project laboratories. Together, the renovation and addition provide much-needed additional space for mechanical science and engineering and reinvigorates the existing structure, creating a more dynamic learning environment.
Advancing sustainability as well as innovative learning, the facility is targeting LEED Gold certification. Substantial upgrades to the existing building’s brick, stone, and glass exterior significantly improve the building envelope and reduce energy consumption. Designed to complement the existing structure, the addition also features high-performance elements including horizontal sunshades on the south-facing façade and accommodation for building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).
A thoughtful merger of historic and state-of-the-art, the MEB unifies old and new, increases sustainability and accessibility, and supports hands-on, team-based learning.