Illinois Geeks In Line For Green Building

The University of Illinois has broken ground on its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s new headquarters building on the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus, which will be aiming for LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

State funds for the building were part of a capital bill signed by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in 2009 in the amount of $47.5 million, half of the funds necessary to complete the project. Since then, the university has secured $37.5 million in funding from a number of private donors and will contiue to fundraise over the next three years while the building is being constructed.

ECE Building, University of Illinois

image via University of Illinois

This “major addition to the Urbana campus” will comprise 230,000 square feet of instructional, research and office space, with an emphasis on student learning spaces (21 instructional labs will make up 28 percent of the total space). The building will house an undergraduate lounge, a grad student lounge, student organization offices, and 11 teaching assistant meeting rooms and study rooms, as well as twenty research labs for faculty and graduate students supporting seven research groups. The auditorium will have 400 seats, making it one of the largest gathering spots on campus.

The building is projected to be complete in the spring of 2014.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.