East Campus Residence Hall, University of Oregon (all photos by me)
I recently toured the construction site with fellow members of the Willamette Valley Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute as part of the group’s August meeting.(2) Brad Black, Capital Projects Manager for University Housing, was our guide. He provided us with a comprehensive overview of the project and its unique features. The basic specifications are as follows:
Location: The block bordered by 15th Avenue, Moss Street, Agate Street, and 17th Avenue; east of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, and across 15th Avenue from the Bean Residence complex
Design: Three residential towers rising four floors each above a shared first-floor plate consisting of dining facilities, classrooms, and other common areas
Resident Students: 454 undergraduates, to be housed in a mix of unit types (including singles with private bathrooms, doubles with private or shared “Jack & Jill” bathrooms, and suites comprised of three double rooms sharing a bathroom)
Square footage: 185,000 square feet
Architect: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF)
Contractor: Hoffman Construction
Cost: $71.5 million
Rendering of the ECRH by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, Architects
View from scaffolding overlooking the roof of the 1st floor commons level below; four floors of housing rise above in three blocks
Interior of one of the top floor double rooms; note the dormer at right
The architectural vocabulary is a stripped down, contemporary interpretation of the “Georgian Colonial” style prescribed by Ellis F. Lawrence (UO Campus Architect from 1914 to 1946) for buildings outside of the main campus quadrangle. The ECRH inherits its DNA from Lawrence’s precedents; like Hendricks, Susan Campbell, and Straub halls before it, the new building features narrow wings, pitched roofs, punched windows, and a brick wrapper. Despite its large size, the ECRH’s bulk isn’t overwhelming.
BIM technology facilitated coordination of different building systems
The resulting installation
Beyond the ECRH, the University of Oregon intends to further upgrade and augment its stock of on-campus housing. Upcoming projects will replace some of the most deficient of the old dormitory complexes. I’m eager to see how the residence hall paradigm at the UO will continue to evolve.
(1) The other newer residence hall is the Living-Learning Center, completed in 2006. ZGF designed the Living-Learning center.
(2) I’ve been a member of the Construction Specifications Institute since 1988. CSI offers the opportunity to network in a collegial setting with professionals representing all sectors of the construction industry: property owners, developers, contractors, engineers, specification writers, building products manufacturers—the whole gamut. The organization’s name is misleading; it’s about so much more than just construction specifications.
(3) My experience with Revit points to another benefit of BIM: the software’s capability to define parameters and relationships between objects within the information model such that if one changes, related objects also change. By ensuring that different views are automatically consistent, errors are greatly reduced.