URBANA – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the state-funded rehabilitation project at the University of Illinois’ Lincoln Hall has allowed the building to achieve LEED Platinum status, the nation’s highest “green building” designation. This designation is particularly difficult to achieve with projects on historic buildings like Lincoln Hall, and it is only the second historic building in the state of Illinois to be certified LEED Platinum. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to making all state buildings as energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly as possible.
“Lincoln Hall is the perfect example of what we can do when we work together and make smart, strategic investments,” Governor Quinn said. “LEED Platinum is a fitting designation for this state-of-the-art green facility that will service students of the University of Illinois for many generations to come.”
The $60.4 million renovation of Lincoln Hall, completed in 2012, was designed to achieve a coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification. The LEED certification can be silver, gold or platinum, which is the highest level obtainable. The certification process begins at the early stages of a project when the project team decides what level of LEED certification they hope to achieve. The final certification comes after the building is completed and all documentation has been thoroughly reviewed by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Illinois Jobs Now! funded project, designed by CANNON Design of Chicago, included the extensive renovation and reconfiguration of Lincoln Hall. The building’s climate control, electrical, lighting, plumbing and fire alarm systems were upgraded, and the structure was reconfigured to make it more usable while preserving its historic character. The project also replaced the floor, ceiling, and wall finishes; abated asbestos-containing materials; and purchased moveable equipment. The construction was managed by the Illinois Capital Development Board.
“The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is now home to seven LEED buildings, and projects such as the Lincoln Hall renovation exemplify our green building leadership,” Chancellor Phyllis Wise said. “We are delighted to work with the state of Illinois to become a nationwide model of sustainability.”
The reuse and rehabilitation of an existing building like Lincoln Hall is “greener” than constructing a new replacement building. Some of the key “green” features of the project include:
- Demolition materials and construction packaging were recycled.
- Workers salvaged, refinished and reused existing wood trim and wood doors.
- Removed slate roofing tiles were ground up for mulch and placed in landscape beds.
- Finishing materials had recycled content.
- Many construction materials were produced regionally to reduce transportation costs.
- The building features dedicated outdoor air supply units with heat recovery for centralized and efficient fresh air intake and exhaust.
- Low water volume plumbing fixtures were used.
- Displacement air diffusers were installed in classrooms and the Lincoln Theater.
- Efficient lighting with daylight harvesting and occupancy sensor controls were installed.
- Variable frequency drives for pumps and motors were used to save on energy and wear and tear.
Other Illinois Jobs Now! funded construction projects are underway at the University of Illinois for which LEED certification will be sought. These include the $80 million Electrical and Computer Engineering Building and the $23.2 million Integrated Biotechnology Research Laboratory.
The only other historic building in Illinois to achieve LEED Platinum certification is the old Sears Powerhouse, now the Charles H. Shaw Technology and Learning Center in Chicago, after a historic rehabilitation project.
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance in energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Studies have shown that a two percent investment in “green” materials and techniques during design and construction results in a 20 percent reduction in a structure’s energy use and operating costs during the lifetime of a building.
Lincoln Hall was built between 1909 and 1911. The Illinois General Assembly appropriated $250,000 for the construction of the building to serve as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln in 1909, the centennial of his birth. The west end of the building and the theater were added in 1929 and 1930. The original architect was W.C. Zimmerman and the building, designed in the Renaissance Revival style, has many notable features, including a bronze bust of the 16th President just inside the main doorway off the Quad, and terra cotta plaques along three exterior sides. The plaques facing the Quad depict scenes from Lincoln’s life, while the plaques on the sides contain quotations from the President.
Lincoln Hall houses the general curriculum classrooms and lecture halls; Political Science, Sociology, Speech and Communication Departments; the Dean's Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Academic Affairs Office; and Admissions and Records.
The Lincoln Hall project is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest capital construction programs in the nation.