Green Building Facts

The College of Business exercises its commitment to social responsibility in many ways. The Business Instructional Facility is an important example of that commitment. It serves to capture the aspirations for a sustainable future by putting into essential practice the best technology and cultural performances possible.

Building the Business Instructional Facility required the collective efforts of many forward-thinking faculty, students, administrators, engineers, architects, and construction crews. Their task was to achieve a new kind of building on campus that considered long-term financial and social costs and opportunities while serving the campus and greater community now and into the foreseeable future. The Business Instructional Facility sets the standard for all new buildings on the ILLINOIS campus.

What is “green” about the new Business Instructional Facility?

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification represents an international standard for green buildings. The Business Instructional Facility is awarded their highest rating of platinum. BIF is the first such building at any public university business school in the world and one of only 15 platinum certified buildings in Illinois.

The “green” aspects of the Business Instructional Facility include the materials it is made of, the practices used in its construction, the “load” it places on campus power, cooling, water, and sewage infrastructure, the impact it has on the environment, and the functions it serves. Many related examples are included below.

Materials and Technologies Employed
  • Triple pane windows that absorb less solar radiation than traditional panes
  • High performance insulation
  • Photovoltaic panels on roof harvests solar radiation as a clean renewable energy source.
  • Zinc roofing reflects heat away from the building, thus reducing HVAC necessary to modulate. Zinc also lasts 100 years or more.
  • Photo sensors on lights to reduce energy consumption as outside light enters room
  • Uses a displacement air system which will move warm and cool air through the building more efficiently than a traditional forced-air system. This system also improves air quality.
  • Plantings on part of the roof area reduce rain run-off and the impact of heat on the building HVAC. These plantings were specifically chosen because of their regional use and ability to thrive without irrigation or fertilizer.
  • Use of water-efficient plantings around facility
  • High quality finishes with low embodied energy (quantity of energy required to manufacture, and supply to the point of use, a product, material or service) such as terrazzo and linoleum flooring
  • Carbon dioxide monitoring to help sustain long-term occupant comfort and well-being
Construction Practices
  • Control of erosion and sedimentation
  • Repurposes and improves an existing urban site thus reducing the environmental impact from the location.
  • Site located near public transportation to reduce land development impacts from automobile use.
  • Limit disruption and pollution of natural water flows by managing stormwater runoff during construction.
  • Verify and ensure building is designed, constructed, and calibrated to operate as intended.
  • Landfill waste from job site reduced
  • Construction site air quality kept high for comfort and well-being of workers
Infrastructure “Load” and Environmental Impact
  • There are 4,000 square feet of solar panels on the outside of the building, which coverts solar energy into clean and renewable electricity. The panels are expected to produce approximately 8% of the building’s total electricity demand.
  • Plantings on the roof reduce rainwater run-off that feeds into the drainage system.
  • A decrease in pavement from the original site (a parking lot) reducing water run-off that feeds into the drainage system. Innovative in the site design is the use of native plants for most of the green space, the use of permeable pavers (pavement in which water is allowed to filtrate through the surface to the underlying soils) in some areas, and a bioswale (landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water) to capture storm water.
  • Low-energy-use building design reduces power consumption and cooling power from the campus chiller. Zero use of CFC-based refrigerants also reduces ozone depletion.
  • Low-volume shower heads, toilets, and faucets reduce water consumption.
  • Convective HVAC system reduces power consumption normally devoted to running fans.
  • Automatic light dimmers detect ambient light from outside and adjust accordingly to reduce power consumption.
  • Motion sensors turn lights off in empty rooms reducing power consumption.
Functions Served
  • The student-centric building, its socially responsible construction and visually stunning design serves to inspire the next generation of responsible business students.
  • Provides secure bicycle storage with convenient changing/shower facilities to reduce impacts from automobile use.
  • The site where the new Business Instructional Facility is located replaces a parking lot and increases the number of plantings while reducing the water run-off.
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