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 square foot building is slated for renovation to meet new programmatic needs and adjacencies and adapt to rapidly changing pedagogies.
A five-level, 36,000 square foot addition will provide state-of-the-art instructional facilities, including new active learning classrooms with audio-visual technology systems designed for short-term needs and long-term vision. A second addition will infill the building’s exterior courtyard, expanding the existing building footprint and creating new, innovative project laboratories. Together, the renovation and new addition will provide much-needed additional space for Mechanical Science and Engineering and will reinvigorate the existing structure to create a more dynamic learning environment.
Advancing sustainability as well as innovative learning, the new facility is targeting LEED Silver certification. Substantial upgrades to the existing building’s brick, stone and glass exterior will significantly improve the building envelope and reduce energy consumption. Designed to complement the existing structure, the new 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 new MEB will unify old and new, increase sustainability and accessibility and support hands-on, team-based learning.