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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering / SmithGroup

  • 01:00 - 17 June, 2016
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering / SmithGroup
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering  / SmithGroup, © Liam Fredrick
© Liam Fredrick

© Liam Fredrick © Liam Fredrick © Liam Fredrick © Liam Fredrick + 21

  • Architects

  • Location

    Urbana, IL, USA
  • Category

  • Owner

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Architecture and Design

  • User

    Department of Electrical Computer Engineering Department
  • Area

    230000.0 ft2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

    • Landscape Architecture

    • Structural Engineering

    • MEP Engineering

      KJWW Engineering Consultants
    • Lighting Design

      KJWW Engineering Consultants
    • Civil Engineering

      Terra Engineering Ltd.
    • Contractor

      Williams Brothers Construction, Inc.
    • Key Team Members

      Andrew Vazzano (Principal in Charge SmithGroupJJR), David King (Lead Designer SmithGroupJJR), Tim Tracey (SmithGroupJJR), Carolina Lopez (Project Manager SmithGroupJJR), Laura Holman (Project Architect SmithGroupJJR), Coty Sandberg (Project Designer SmithGroupJJR), Victor Cardona (Laboratory Planner SmithGroupJJR), Andrea Reynolds (Structural Engineer SmithGroupJJR), Marisa Dittman (Landscape Architect SmithGroupJJR), Dave Bodenschatz (Senior Engineer, KJWW Engineering Consultants)
    • More Specs Less Specs
    © Liam Fredrick
    © Liam Fredrick

    Text description provided by the architects. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (ECE ILLINOIS) is the epicenter of new technology and groundbreaking innovation. Intended to go beyond a collection of bricks and mortar, the new ECE building will be the heart and soul of the department – a place where curiosity is celebrated and intellectual collisions occur naturally. The building, containing 230,000 square feet of research, instructional and office space, is designed by SmithGroupJJR to inspire and support interdisciplinary learning and research. From its inception, the building design was driven by energy efficiency. This high-performance building is the direct result of integrating culture, energy research and architecture – a new paradigm for sustainable design. 

    © Liam Fredrick
    © Liam Fredrick
    © Liam Fredrick
    © Liam Fredrick


    The University of Illinois was determined to set new standards in building energy use and explored opportunities that could potentially enable the building to supply its own energy. Designed to be net-zero ready, the ECE Building demonstrates a sincere commitment to sustainable design while emulating the spirit of the department that is recognized for pushing the limits of technological innovation. From displacement and demand control ventilation, heat recovery chillers with net metering to chilled beam technology, the building is an important addition to the campus in terms of its minimal carbon footprint. The ECE Building will use 50% less energy than the minimum building energy efficiency standards established in ASHRAE 90.1-2007. This is an exceptional achievement considering the energy-intensive nature of a laboratory building with an instructional clean room. 



    The ECE Building will be a sustainability prototype for future buildings on the University of Illinois campus. Inspired by the technological discoveries of ECE ILLINOIS, SmithGroupJJR created an architectural expression that pushed the limits of innovation while maintaining aesthetic continuity with the traditional brick campus. The building features a pressure-equalizing terracotta rainscreen cladding system in conjunction with an R-30 thermal envelope for optimum energy performance. Passive solar design features such as optimal building orientation, 30% overall glazing and exterior shading devices lend to greater daylighting and reduced energy loads. In addition to maintaining a consistent material palette, terracotta baguettes and the solar canopy act as exterior shading devices on 80% of the glazing. Comprehensive sustainability features were incorporated into every aspect of the building’s exterior and interior. Energy efficiency was not only the priority, but the driver for every decision throughout the design process. 

    © Liam Fredrick
    © Liam Fredrick
    © Liam Fredrick
    © Liam Fredrick

    ECE ILLINOIS’ new building provides a home to imagine future innovation, to incubate technological advances and to lead sustainable research practices. More importantly, this building is an environmental steward. The holistic approach towards design – linking culture, energy research and architecture – represents an organizational model to achieve significant advances in sustainable building performance. The new ECE building is a breakthrough in design innovation as well as a catalyst for future discoveries in energy research – a special place worthy of celebrating the achievements of ECE ILLINOIS.

    © Liam Fredrick
    © Liam Fredrick

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    Project location

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    About this office
    Cite: "Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering / SmithGroup" 17 Jun 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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