Gustavus Adolphus College Beck Academic Center

Location: St. Peter, MN
Partnerships: BWBR Architects
Accolades: Finance & Commerce Top Projects List 2011. LEED Platinum Certification.

Gustavus Adolphus College opened a new academic building in September 2011. Beck Academic Hall is 126,000 square feet and three stories tall. It serves five departments, giving more space and higher technology for specialized classrooms, tiered lecture halls, tiered computer classrooms, and laboratory space. The building also houses the studios for GAC-TV and KGSM radio.

Reflecting Gustavus' commitment to being a "green" campus, sustainable design was a goal of the $22 million project. Solar thermal hot water was utilized and the infrastructure for future PV panels was designed. Other features include natural daylighting, a white roof, and designated parking for fuel-efficient cars. The project is projected to use 44% less energy because of its green design elements. It exceeds the State of Minnesota Sustainable Building 2030 targets.

The lighting system is designed to use 25% less energy than the State Energy Code. The lights are controlled by a state-of-the-art digital lighting control system, with the ability to monitor the status and use of the lights. Occupancy and daylight sensors are installed, with daylight sensors dimming the lights at the perimeter of the building when daylight is present. Interior emergency egress/night lights are controlled by occupancy sensors during the overnight hours to provide for additional energy savings.

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