- Project Name
- Darla Moore School of Business
- Jeff Lamberson, director of design & construction, University of South Carolina
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- 260,000 sq. feet
- Year Completed
Keith Branham, P.E., LEED AP, senior vice president, director of engineering for Stevens & Wilkinson, S.C, Engineering Firm / Project Lead
Andrea Lamberti, AIA, NCARB, Rafael Viñoly Architects, Project Partner / Architect of Record
- Stevens & Wilkinson
- Project Status
- Room or Space
FROM RAFAEL VIÑOLY ARCHITECTS:
The new University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business by Viñoly serves as a gateway to downtown Columbia’s mixed-use Innovista district and an incubator for new economic development. Globally renowned for its international business program, the Moore School of Business–housed until now in a 1970s-era building near the university’s historic campus–was in need of upgrading its facilities to reflect a leading twenty-first century business school. The new state-of-the-art facility, with a LEED Platinum rating, will be home to a community of over 5,000 students, faculty, and staff.
The new building is a natural reflection of its site. At its heart, a “Palmetto Court” features a grove of Sabal Palmetto, South Carolina’s state tree. A set of two grand staircases lead from the courtyard, which also houses an event pavilion, to the upper levels. The rooftop has been designed to accommodate four pavilions sitting underneath a continuous pergola with integrated photovoltaic panels that contribute the building’s overall sustainable design.
The adjacent Carolina Coliseum is also reflected in the design for the business school in its overall massing, with the alignment of fourth-floor faculty offices to the Coliseum’s roof and the classroom plinth to its base, and with the rhythm of its colonnade. The University emphasized that activation of the adjacent site would occur in the future so the design needed to anticipate two potential scenarios for the Coliseum building–either its adaptive reuse or its demolition.
The building design takes advantage of the steeply sloped site, featuring magnificent views of the Congaree River from the top floors, and housing auditoria, classrooms, and other spaces that require minimal natural light in the base plinth. Upper levels wrap around the courtyard with each floor plate extending out to different extents according to programmatic needs and creating energy savings through the passive self-shading of lower floors. The highest floors are shaded with shading elements. A 500-seat auditorium has been designed to host performances for the School of Music as well as plenary sessions and large campus gatherings for the university, in addition to School of Business lectures.
The building program stimulates learning through the most up-to-date means of technology, including a trading room with stock market ticker boards and classrooms equipped with tele-presence technology. A green rooftop terrace, along with the Palmetto Court and terraced areas, promote interaction and collaboration among faculty, students, and community members.
Through its transparent active spaces, which animate each of the four sides of the building, and through its multiple points of entry encouraging pedestrian circulation and access, the new Darla Moore School of Business is designed to contribute to the district’s revitalization by attracting a large new population on a daily basis.
FROM STEVENS & WILKINSON:
Business School on Path to Becoming Largest Net-Zero Energy Building
Stevens & Wilkinson, a full-service architecture, engineering and interior design firm with offices in Atlanta and Columbia, S.C., recently completed the engineering design for the University of South Carolina’s new Darla Moore School of Business. The finished project, which is slated to achieve LEED Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council later this year, had been initiated when the university was hand-selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to partner with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as part of the agency’s Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative.
The prestigious program, designed to help the DOE achieve a goal of providing marketable net-zero energy commercial buildings by 2025, served as a key project focus for Stevens & Wilkinson, engineer on record for the project, and partner-firm Rafael Viñoly Architects (RVA), architect of record.
The new Darla Moore School of Business showcases the university’s longstanding commitment to efficient energy usage as it is anticipated to become the first net-zero energy higher education facility of its kind in the southeastern U.S. capable of generating as much energy as it consumes through the design of advanced technologies.
“Our team implemented smart design solutions that make the new Darla Moore School of Business a highly sustainable, functional and visually dynamic facility for the university’s students and faculty,” said Keith Branham, P.E., LEED AP, senior vice president, director of engineering for Stevens & Wilkinson, S.C., who served as lead for the project. “We are thrilled because we know each of the methods and technologies developed during the design of this building will guide efforts for all new facilities located or associated with the University of South Carolina moving forward.”
Mechanical and Electrical Design, Improving Building Efficiency:
With dedicated outdoor air systems designed to provide users with pristine fresh air, the building’s new HVAC systems are engineered with under-floor air, active chilled beams and variable air volume systems, all designed to reduce the amount of horsepower needed to move air for heating and cooling. In addition, a separate HVAC system was incorporated for use of the building’s 500-seat lecture and performance hall, in order to achieve quiet air conditioning without impacting the room’s acoustics. The firm coordinated with an acoustics consultant to generate desired reverberation characteristics, an endeavor that closely entailed monitoring duct velocities, thereby increasing the duct size to ensure a quieter environment.
Designed with the goal of furthering the school’s mission of providing students with a top-tier education, one that welcomes collaboration, encourages excellence and incites creativity, the new Darla Moore School of Business features a number of sustainable design elements that include: the use of green turf for heat reduction; reusable waste management systems; a state-of-the-art hybrid HVAC system; and natural daylighting. Rainwater harvesting for irrigation and building toilet use also contributes to the building’s overall water-use reduction of more than 50 percent.
From an electrical standpoint, systems were efficiently distributed from the main switchgear by way of two vertical power feeders to equipment located on each of the building’s six levels. An emergency power system was developed to service life-safety loads and other legally required emergency equipment in the event of a power outage.
An energy monitoring system was also designed and implemented to measure the amount of energy used by the building and was created specifically for systems and components that include interior and exterior lighting, heating and cooling, fan motors, elevators, kitchen equipment, and building-plug loads.
Branham said all successful outcomes, when taking into consideration the preliminary information, yielded directly from the system. “Given our region’s hot, and at times, humid climate, our team’s efforts will help curb the amount of energy needed to effectively heat and cool a building of this size and magnitude.”
The net result of the building’s blended sustainable design features an optimized energy performance of 43 percent, a percentage that is much higher than the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) 90.1 standards.
Civil and Structural Design Considerations:
Given the site’s dramatic elevation changes, the team specifically implemented solutions to maximize the facility’s operational flexibility by incorporating building entries on multiple levels. Furthermore, civil engineering design services ensured proper storm water management for flood prevention, site utilities and government agency approvals.
Accelerated site and structural design packages were also issued to meet the rigorous planning schedule and expedited start date of construction. Complexities included transfer columns to achieve the desired structural design, resulting in flexibility for a planted roof and potential future pavilions. Outboard columns required special consideration for bracing, while site soils required attention and monitoring in order to limit settlement impacts.
“The Stevens & Wilkinson team provided exceptional and professional support throughout our project and often were the main supporters of our vision when challenges arose,” said Debbie H. Brumbaugh, chief financial officer and director of administrative services, Darla Moore School of Business, office of the dean. “Their team seemed to always retain focus on our specifications, expectations, and the intended design plan. They could be relied upon to explore and solve complicated challenges in ways that were efficient and favorable for our school.”
About Stevens & Wilkinson: Founded in 1919, Stevens & Wilkinson is a full-service architecture, engineering and interior design firm committed to providing clients with “Smart Design Solutions.” The firm’s combined design capabilities equate to projects executed with creative, innovative, and holistic design solutions. To learn more: www.stevens-wilkinson.com.