Project Detail


Bagley Classroom Building

Duluth, MN United States


Project Description

Salmela Architect • This new classroom building, situated on a 55-acre nature preserve with old-growth hardwood trees and a pond, is just shy of 2,000 square feet, but it serves no fewer than eight departments at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The university asked David Salmela to design a building that would have minimal environmental impact and would be, in spite of the harsh northern Minnesota climate, a net energy producer. To meet the German Passivhaus standard and attain LEED Platinum certification, Salmela designed the building as a superinsulated, virtually airtight shell made of 16-inch-thick structural insulated panel walls and roof, recycled wood beams, and partially recycled zinc siding. The south-facing orientation maximizes solar gain in the winter while also providing the best orientation for photovoltaic panels. “It’s environmental and clear and simple,” juror Bill Valentine said. Outside, Salmela added a plaza with a concrete fireplace on one side and a facing enclosure for firewood, creating an outdoor teaching space that can be used into the cooler fall months. “The way it makes a place, it would be an enormous asset to any school,” juror Donna Robertson said.


Project Details

Bagley Classroom Building
Shared by:
Project Team:
    David Salmela, principal; Carly Coulson, project architect;
  • Structural Engineer: Meyer Borgman Johnson 
  • Energy Consultant: Conservative Technologies 
  • Civil Engineer: Sale Engineering 
  • General Contractor: University of Minnesota 
  • Photography: Paul Crosby 
  • Mechanical Engineer: Gausman & Moore 
  • Electrical Engineer: Gausman & Moore 
Project Type:
Project Status:
Project Size:
    1,995 sq ft
Construction Cost:
Green Certifications:


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