California State University, Chico, Glenn Hall Replacement

Chico, CA

A business school designed for innovation, inclusion and sustainability

The feasibility study for California State University, Chico developed a model for the first net zero energy College of Business in California, focusing on the university’s goal of creating a modern, culturally inclusive and sustainable facility for students. The proposed replacement project consolidates the College of Business, currently spread across three buildings, into a single new building on the same site as the existing Glenn Hall. The 85,000-square-foot complex connects the study environments to the outdoors, develops experiential learning spaces to meet evolving student needs and brings together faculty spread across the different buildings.

The design highlights Chico’s unique culture and campus design, linking the historical traditions, new ideologies and the natural setting of the neighboring Big Chico Creek. The design promotes interaction and collaborations, while providing a simple organizational structure for the multi-use facility. The new building is divided into two distinct sections separated by an atrium or boulevard. One section is four stories; the second section is two stories and situated to create an exterior courtyard.

The year-round functions, including the department offices are centered in the smaller, two-story structure; program dormant during the summer months are in the larger four-story structure which can then be shut down during the summer. Separating these two structures is a large atrium which enables connection through the building to the Big Chico Creek. The atrium can double as a reception area for events. The student-focused roles of the Centers are co-located on the first floor to maximize visibility and accessibility. Faculty offices are grouped on the same floor to promote collaboration and also on the fourth floor to offer stunning views of the campus.

The terracing creates a significant roof terrace on the third level of the facility, before dropping down to the landscaped courtyard and the creek. The roof deck is designed as a multi-functional space for students, faculty and staff.

The facility is designed to meet LEED Platinum certifications. Sustainability features include photovoltaic array that will offset 100percent of the building’s energy needs, a high performance energy efficient envelope supports the net zero energy targets, the building supports the first electric only energy node that powers Glenn Hall and the adjacent buildings independently of the campus central plant. The programming of the building enables a large portion to be shut down over the summer months and all stormwater runoff is pre-treated in bio-swales prior to discharge in the adjacent creek.

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