Much Anticipated University of Cincinnati College of Business Opens

Future-oriented business school complex at University Of Cincinnati showcases Buro Happold’s innovative approach to design and analysis

Creative, highly sustainable engineering solutions from Buro Happold supports the delivery of the Henning Larsen-designed atrium for the University of Cincinnati Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Image: Alex Fradkin

The much-anticipated new building — conceived by Danish firm Henning Larsen on a campus known for innovative academic and campus life environments — includes an expansive atrium, two spacious courtyards, and flexible areas for informal meetings and interdisciplinary education among students, researchers and business leaders, all reflecting the university’s project-based learning approach and enriching academic life with daylight and inspiring spaces.

The 225,000-square-foot construction project, overseen by Turner Construction Co. and designed by Henning Larsen and Cincinnati-based architect KZF Design, reflects a  global vision from the Copenhagen-based architects and supported by the U.S. Buro Happold team in the cultural and educational sectors.

University of Cincinnati, Carl H Lindner College of Business
University of Cincinnati, Carl H Lindner College of Business is a new facility designed to complement the school’s emergence as a state of the art campus. Image: Alex Fradkin

Among the challenges for the $120 million complex, which broke ground in May 2017 and opens on schedule and on budget today, are a novel cantilevered structural system to bridge existing site utilities that cross the site as well as the interior’s airy and daylight drenched four-story atrium connecting labs, study zones and faculty office areas. The completed building is tracking to meet rigorous green-building criteria for LEED version 4.0 Gold certification.

Buro Happold has harnessed a powerful suite of analytical tools to inform the design process for daylight evaluation, dynamic thermal modeling, people flow modeling and energy modeling, says Matthew Herman, a principal in the firm’s Chicago office. A fourth tool, computational fluid dynamics or CFD, predicted the movement of air and heat inside the complex building as well as wind impacts on its exterior. “Together, these four tools provide institutions like the University of Cincinnati and their architects an unparalleled understanding of how to minimize energy use while ensuring the comfort and enjoyment of students and faculty over the life of the investment,” adds Herman.

We designed the Lindner College of Business with the ambition of creating an open and generous addition to the campus. In a field where creating personal networks is so important, we considered it essential to create an institution that values educational excellence and social wellness equally. We are enormously proud of not just the building, but also of the close collaboration with the university and design partners that made it possible.
Henning Larsen

University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business' 4-story open lobby atrium
University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business’ 4-story open lobby atrium. Image: Alex Fradkin

As design engineer for this advanced academic community, Buro Happold collaborated with the design team and consultants including PEDCO (mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems) and Woolpert (structures) to resolve a number of critical challenges:

  • To allow drainage of a nearby creek bed and protect an old brick conduit, Buro Happold helped devise a structural cantilever, hidden amid the base of the new Lindner College of Business, according to the firm’s associate Andy Rastetter, P.E., and associate principal Phil Skellorn.
  • Inside the new building, the large atrium creates connected spaces for informal meetings and flexible teaching and study facilities, emphasizing the university’s project-based approach to learning. To ensure the vast open interior meets both campus energy goals and safety needs for smoke evacuation, Buro Happold engineers devised a performance-based solution in conjunction with local officials to manage smoke exhaust systems.
  • For the green roof and its large areas of plantings and gardens, structural engineers at Buro Happold modeled the roof slopes and access points, which are critical to ensure robust roof design and function. In addition, a unique truss system at the roof level supports lower parts of the structure, which are hung off the truss, according to Buro Happold’s structural engineer Rastetter.

We’ve matched the University of Cincinnati’s commendable environmental targets by delivering a low energy strategy integrated with the architectural intent. By using radiant surfaces combined with controlled introduction of fresh air, the academic community benefits from the openness of the building atrium and light wells to draw in sunlight and air, creating a productive and engaging environment ideal for a business school.
Matt Herman, principal, Buro Happold

Among the offerings to serve some 5,000 students at the Lindner College of Business are the large courtyards and atrium, more than 240 faculty office spaces, a 150-seat, two-story lecture hall, a 250-seat auditorium, research labs, open workspaces, exam and tutoring areas, huddle and breakout rooms.

The design team’s various engineering advances have been essential to creating this “infrastructural and social gathering point” envisioned by Henning Larsen for the university’s growing West Campus. The new College also represents the continuation of an ambitious campus master plan developed over a decade ago by university leadership and Hargreaves Associates, a planner and landscape architect — a plan still advancing the institutional mission and attracting many internationally recognized architects.

University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business
University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business’ 150-seat Lecture Hall. Image: Alex Fradkin

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