Project Detail


Gilbert Hall, Pacific University

Forest Grove, OR United States

Mahlum Architects


Project Description

The latest of two new residence halls on Pacific University’s campus, Gilbert Hall’s design focuses on visible sustainability both within its walls as well as across the greater campus. The building entry features three stories of glass, reminiscent of a lantern at night. On the interior, the entry lounge is casual, inviting and lively, promoting an open and visible community. Apartment-like units with large common areas initiate serendipitous student interactions. The project also features a number of sustainable elements including extensive natural light through large operable windows, corridor views to exterior environments, dual-flush toilets, rainwater utilization, and recycling rooms. Signage was incorporated throughout to educate students about the facility’s green features.

With the confirmed success of the VRF zoning system installation at Burlingham Hall, Pacific’s leadership was encouraged to continue to execute its green campus master plan with the development of Gilbert Hall, a new student residence. Named for the celebrated Pacific University student A.C. Gilbert – creator of two American icons, the American Flyer Electric Train and the Erector Set – the design for Gilbert Hall, a 61,520-square-foot facility, featured 26 apartments and suites for 157 students.

PAE Consulting Engineers, Portland, Ore., was chosen to support the mechanical design needs. Among other goals, they were tasked with designing the building to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Gilbert Hall achieved an Energy Use Index (EUI) of 46 kbtu/sf/yr. - 44 percent less energy used than comparable venues in the Pacific.


Project Details

Gilbert Hall, Pacific University
Shared by:
Firm Name:
  • Mechanical Engineer: PAE Consulting Engineers 
  • HVAC Contractor: American Heating, Inc. 
  • HVAC Distributor: Thermal Supply 
Project Type:
Project Status:
Year Completed:
Project Size:
    61,520 sq ft
Green Certifications:

Specified Products

Mitsubishi Electric VRF heat recovery system

Chuck Carpenter is the veteran facilities engineer for HVACR at Pacific. He speaks highly of the quietness of the system and admires the VRF zoning that allows one student apartment to be 72 degrees next door to a suite set at 60 degrees, ensuring student comfort. But he is especially fond of the Mitsubishi Electric software that enables him to monitor and adjust any enabled building from his office! “Gilbert Hall

is performing wonderfully,” Carpenter said. It is Pacific University’s hope to make VRF zoning systems its benchmark system for all new student housing projects.



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