Ryan Center for the Musical Arts Achieves LEED Gold

EVANSTON, Illinois — Northwestern University Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts is an award winner for sustainability, making the Evanston campus “greener” than ever.

The Ryan Center has been certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold for New Construction (v2.2) by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects must meet prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification, which differ for each rating system.

LEED certification is recognized worldwide as the premier mark of achievement in green building.

The Ryan Center is an elegant 155,000 square foot glass building. This is the new home of Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music.

Designed by Goettsch Partners, Inc., a Chicago-based architectural firm, the contemporary five-story limestone and glass structure features three state-of-the-art performance spaces: the 400-seat Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, the 163- black box-style Shirley Welsh Ryan Opera Theater and the 120-seat David and Carol McClintock Choir and Recital Hall.

The sprawling center also includes classrooms, 99 soundproof practice rooms, 66 teaching studios or offices, and additional offices for staff and administrators. The fifth floor houses of the center communication school administrative offices.

“Northwestern University initiated this project with the goal of achieving at least LEED Silver certification,” said James Goettsch, FAIA, Design Partner and President/CEO of Goettsch Partners, Inc. “This commitment to sustainability was evident from the competition through to the completion of the project.

“As an institutional customer, Northwestern was willing to consider an extended payback period, compared to a typical owner/developer. This long-term thinking will enable the university to achieve decades of energy and water savings,” added Michael F. Kaufman, Managing Partner.

“The innovative nature of a predominantly glass music school, combined with attention to detail, such as a double-skin facade, allowed us to provide abundant light for the occupants, while providing sound insulation and enclosure. energy efficient,” said Patrick Loughran. , FAIA PE, LEED AP, technical director.

Northwestern University’s goal for the School of Music was to build a facility that is highly sustainable, one that engages and invigorates the campus and the wider community. The University intends to use the building as an educational tool to encourage and advance science and knowledge of green building and operating practices.

Sustainable and energy efficient features of the Ryan Center include:

  • The double-skin facade in many areas of the building provides acoustic insulation and significantly improves the thermal performance of the facade.
  • Since the building is adjacent to Lake Michigan, the lower level of the building is susceptible to high water tables, the under-slab drainage system is connected to a gray water tank. This gray water system provides gray water for toilets and building irrigation systems and reduces water consumption.
  • The building was not only designed to be energy and water efficient, using 49% less indoor water, but also sought to create a healthy environment for occupants that promotes sustainable behavior. Features include the use of low-emitting materials and products; recycled content and regional low-emitting materials, including air testing; and access to daylight and views.
  • Other sustainable design elements include high-efficiency, low-flow plumbing fixtures, which reduce potable water consumption; high SRI roofing material to reduce heat island effect; and energy-efficient lighting to reduce energy consumption.
  • The integration of the high performance façade and innovative systems results in a projected design energy EUI of 72.5 kBtu/ft2/yr (as analyzed in the proposed final LEED energy model) which is well below the ASHRAE Reference Building EUI of 108.6 kBtu/ft2/yr. year, and the national average site WUI for university education buildings of 120 kBtu/sf/year.
  • State-of-the-art mechanical and lighting systems contribute to energy savings at the Ryan Centre.
  • The location of the Ryan Center site includes access to public transportation, and the University has instituted a campus-wide discount for LEFE (low-emission and fuel-efficient) vehicles.
  • There are also plenty of bike storage options available near the Ryan Center and throughout Northwestern campus.

“The site was well-located to allow us to take advantage of many LEED points and incorporate design elements that allowed us to exceed original goals and achieve Gold level certification,” said Scott Seyer, AIA, LEED AP, design director.

Credit for the Ryan Center’s recent LEED/GOLD accreditation extends beyond architectural firm Goettsch Partners Inc., to several other companies involved in the project, including Cosentini Associates — MEP/FP, engineers; Schuler Shook, architectural lighting designers; Atelier Ten, sustainable design consultants; Epstein Global, LEED consultant; and Power Construction Company, general contractor.

“The University recognizes the importance of environmental stewardship and incorporates green building design principles into all new construction,” said Bonnie Humphrey, director of design and construction at Northwestern. “Needless to say, we are very proud to have obtained LEED Gold for such a magnificent building. We hope this project illustrates that sustainable architectural design can be a thing of beauty.

Toni-Marie Montgomery, Dean of Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Musicalso expressed his gratitude to everyone who helped earn the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts Gold level certification.

“The entire Bienen School of Music community applauds Goettsch Partners for their accomplishment in combining uncompromising functionality with an incredibly elegant form,” said Montgomery.