6501 N. Kenmore Map
Solomon Cordwell Buenz
The Loyola Information Commons is a 4-story, 67,000 sf 'library without books'. This is probably the most cutting-edge commercial green project currently underway in Chicago, because it seeks to integrate the architecture and engineering systems in a manner only widely seen in Europe. This is surely partly due to the German firm Transsolar's role as indoor climate consultant. The project is seeking LEED Silver certification.
The floor plan is primarily open floor space for individual and group computer work and studying. The continuous open space between eastern and western facades allow for the innovative-to-Americans hybrid ventilation approach. In natural ventilation mode a double-skin facade protects the western elevation and drives natural ventilation - cool air can enter from operable windows on the eastern, lakefront elevation.
A radiant heating and cooling system is integrated into the precast concrete ceiling/floor, which also includes a cast-in cove to enhance lighting. An outside-air only underfloor mechanical ventilation system can operate when natural ventilation is not possible. It's worth noting that no special code variances were necessary to implement any of these systems, although some design and research was required to develop a code-compliant design for the ventilated facade (treated as an atrium).
Construction is currently underway and can be followed on the university's project page. Other project team members include MEP engineer Elara, commissioning agent E Cube, structural engineer Halvorson and Partners, LEED consultant Sieben Energy Associates, and civil and landscape consultant JJR.