Wash. U.’s Business School Expansion Earns LEED Gold

ST. LOUIS — The 175,000-square-foot expansion of the Olin Business School at Washington University (Wash. U.) in St. Louis achieved LEED Gold certification in December. The $90 million project was completed in spring 2014 and included the construction of Knight and Bauer Halls on the Danforth campus. Construction was completed during an aggressive 20-month schedule.

The new five-story Knight and Bauer Halls are united by a glass atrium that provides abundant natural light to the expansive amphitheater-style forum below. The two floors house tiered classrooms, with the 300-seat auditorium and amphitheater-style Frick Forum on the first floor. Designed for small gatherings and large presentations, the forum’s curved white-oak seating rises to the second floor, home to the Weston Career Center, additional tiered classrooms and a terrace classroom that opens to a large patio in the Mews. The fourth and fifth floors house faculty offices and the dean’s office, providing fourth floor access to study and meeting rooms in the new Knight and Bauer Towers, designed to serve as new signature landmarks for Olin.

The Collegiate Gothic structures have been built into the hillside along the northern edge of the Danforth campus. A two-story glass portal on Throop Drive welcomes visitors via Knight Hall. New entrances take visitors from Mudd Field to Bauer Hall and to the atrium on the third floor by way of a landscaped terrace.

Locally based Tarlton Corp. and Mackey Mitchell Architects served as the design-construction team on the project. In addition to the LEED Gold certification of Knight and Bauer Halls, Tarlton also completed the LEED Gold McMillan Hall addition and two LEED-certified projects on the Wash. U. Danforth Campus: Seigle Hall and the Earth and Planetary Sciences Building, the first LEED project completed in the city of St. Louis.

Mackey Mitchell Architects has provided design services to Wash. U. (including the Washington University School of Medicine) for the last 20-plus years and has completed a number of LEED-certified buildings on campus. These include the LEED Gold South 40 House; LEED Silver Village East Student Housing and Umrath Rubelmann Student Housing; LEED-certified renovation of Mallinckrodt Center; and the LEED Platinum-anticipated Hillman Hall for the Brown School of Social Work.

“We’re delighted to complete our third LEED Gold project,” said Tarlton President Tracy Hart in a statement. “Sustainable construction has become standard practice in our industry, with building owners and project teams looking to build sustainably on every project, registered or not. Having built our LEED Silver headquarters in 2004, we know how to build these buildings, and we’re proud to help create healthful environments that make St. Louis an even better place to work.”

The Olin Business School expansion project is the largest single project completed on the Wash. U. Danforth campus in the shortest span of time, nearly doubling Olin Business School’s footprint on the campus. The construction process and fast-track schedule earned Tarlton a 2014 Best Practices Award for materials management and front-end planning on this project by the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers. The annual awards recognize successful use of Construction Industry Best Practices validated by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) to improve project quality, budget and schedule.