Platinum standard

09 Feb 2010

University of Illinois' Business Instructional Facility provides a grand forum for sustainable business education

The Business Instructional Facility, LEED Platinum, is the first green building on the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus. This is particularly notable considering that at the beginning of the project there were no University LEED requirements for any buildings.

Aptly named, The Business Instructional Facility (BIF) serves primarily as a classroom building for business education. The overall building, totaling 163,000 sq ft, forms a four-storey 'U'-shape, defined principally by three perimeter bar buildings clad in local brick and natural stone. As the 'U' opens to the south, it encircles a 9,000 sq ft central commons and a garden courtyard.

The commons – filled with daylight and wood finishes – provides grandness and warmth to BIF, and serves as the primary College of Business meeting place. It is invigorated with a rich surrounding of instructional spaces, including: 19 flat and tiered classrooms – ranging from 40 to 70 seats, a 300-seat auditorium, a mock trading lab, and 36 breakout rooms. The commons physically embodies the College of Business philosophy – being an open, bright and inspiring forum for business education.

From all directions, BIF adds historically responsive and timelessly new animation to the University’s rich fabric of Georgian and Prairie architecture. Following cues from Charles Platt’s 1925 master plan, the project’s massing completes important campus edges, helping to enrich existing streets and greenways while also defining welcoming new open spaces for the College of Business, University and Urbana-Champaign community at large.

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