University of Oregon Lillis Business Complex: Eugene, OR

Making Business Sense



Lara Swimmer

It started as a simple remodel. The University of Oregon sought to redesign and add to its existing business school because room sizes were not meeting the needs of their teaching models. However, the architects discovered that every interior wall was a shear wall that could not be removed without breaking down more of the building. In the end, it was more cost-effective to build a new building which would meet and adapt to the needs of the college of business. The small remodel became the Lillis Business Complex, a four-story, 140,000 ft2 building that demonstrates responsible business through sustainable design. Photovoltaic modules on the 64 ft high south-facing glass wall prevent heat gain and generate electricity. Stack effect in the four-story atrium draws ventilation air through the building. In the lecture hall, angled ceiling panels reflect daylight toward the student seating area and away from the projection area. The atrium has no conditioned air supplied to it other than the recycled air from the classrooms. Building orientation provides exposure to the north and south for daylighting, as well as, prevailing breezes in summer and winter.

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