University of Tennessee Music Building Earns LEED Silver

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The $40 million, state-of-the-art Natalie L. Haslam Music Center recently became the latest University of Tennessee (UT) facility to earn LEED designation. This latest certification brings the Knoxville-based university’s LEED tally to six buildings, while the soon-to-be-completed Joint Institute for Advanced Materials is expected to achieve LEED Gold.

“In addition to its original intention of being a state-of-the-art facility in which to study and perform music, the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center was also designed with this LEED Silver designation in mind,” said Jeff Pappas, director of the UT School of Music, in a statement. “Many hours of careful planning went into seeking this designation, and we are thrilled that this wonderful building has reached this important designation.”

The highly efficient, 123,000-square-foot Haslam Center debuted in 2013 and includes a number of green features and systems, such as underground rainwater collection cisterns used to irrigate the surrounding landscape and ceramic glazing on portions of the glass exterior to reduce solar heat gain. Along with green building materials, its modern, stylistic interiors include crisp, white walls, large windows to allow plenty of natural light, sleek seating options, green accents throughout and a variety of natural textures.

Upon the building’s completion, all School of Music programs were — for the first time — able to be located under the same roof. Music students now enjoy eight technology-enhanced classrooms, 56 practice rooms, 57 performance studios/academic offices, an organ studio, a 412-seat recital hall, the George F. DeVine Music Library, a recording/mixing lab and an academic tutoring center, as well as a number of computer, electronic music and piano labs. The building serves 350 students and replaces a 1960s-era facility that was constructed when the university’s music program was less than half its current size.

“We are obligated to provide our students with the best faculty, staff, research opportunities and resources,” said UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek in a statement following the facility’s September 2013 dedication. “This building will provide learning opportunities. It is the best building in the country.”

UT adopted a sustainable building policy in 2007 to make green building the standard for all new construction and renovation projects exceeding $5 million. The university’s master plan requires sustainable design and construction be incorporated into both new and renovated buildings, and focuses on increasing open green space and walkways to make the campus more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.

Associated Music Center Architects, a joint venture of BarberMcMurry Architects and Blankenship and Partners, both of Knoxville, designed the building and was also responsible for the construction. Johnson & Galyon, also of Knoxville, served as the project contractor. Knoxville’s Lauderdale Design Group, an interior design consulting firm, completed the building’s interiors, and a variety of Knoll furnishings were used throughout.

Named for UT supporter and philanthropist Natalie L. Haslam, a graduate of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, the building was funded in part by a portion of Haslam’s $32.5 million gift to the school in 2006.