University of Minnesota Duluth Labovitz School of Business and Economics
Resource Stewardship in Use: thermal performance, durability
Awards and certifications
This 65,000 ft2 (6000 m2) building houses the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). It includes classrooms, laboratories, offices, a large auditorium, and public gathering spaces. It connects directly to neighboring buildings on campus to minimize loss of heat (and to increase the comfort of students and others moving between buildings in the cold climate). The building was the first new public higher education building in Minnesota to be LEED certified.
Sustainable concrete features
Concrete is used both for the structural members and for aesthetic consideration throughout the building. Classrooms and offices are organized around a large three-story common area that is lit by large skylights. The use of glass for daylighting is extensive throughout the building, providing excellent harvesting of diffused sunlight without excess heat or glare (and the benefit of Lake Superior views). The exposed concrete throughout the building provides the thermal mass to work in conjunction with the large areas of glass to regulate building temperatures. Large, three-story concrete columns in the atrium are both visually stunning and excellent collectors of solar heat.
The exterior offices and classrooms are shielded from unwanted sunlight through concrete overhangs (coated with weathering steel to blend with the architectural theme of the campus and iron mining roots of the region).
All photos courtesy of Schokker.