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Business Instructional Facility: LEED Platinum (Completed)

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The Business Instructional Facility was awarded the LEED Platinum Certification on December 2, 2009, having achieved 52 of the 69 possible points on the LEED Scorecard. The construction was especially strong in the Indoor Environmental Quality, receiving 13 of the 15 possible points in that area. This building is the first business facility at a public university anywhere in the world to earn platinum certification through LEED.  Cesar Pelli,  a U. of I. graduate who was named one of the nation’s 10 most influential architects by the American Institute of Architects, designed the four-story, 160,000-square-foot facility. “LEED platinum certification is more than a culminating acknowledgement of the university’s exceptional environmental stewardship,” said Craig G. Copeland, a senior associate with Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.


The building was awarded the LEED certification because of the materials that it is made of; the practices used in 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. Sustainable features of the building include 4,000 square feet of solar panels on the outside of the building and automatic light dimmers that detect ambient light from outside in order to adjust accordingly to reduce power consumption. More information about the specifics of the building features and certification requirements is available on the University of Illinois College of Business' page and in the USGBC’s directory.


  • 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
  • Site located near public transportation to reduce land development impacts from automobile use.
  • Automatic light dimmers detect ambient light from outside and adjust accordingly to reduce power consumption.
  • Solar panels that are expected to produce approximately 8% of the building's total electricity demand.
  • 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.

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Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    Claire Johnson - Atelier Ten Consulting

    Project Leader:

    Clifford Carey, Don White

    Team Members:

    • Cesar Pelli (Architects)
    • KJWW Engineering Consultants


  • Started November 30, 2007
    Started by University of Illinois
    Completed December 2, 2009
    Completed by USGBC


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