Washington University ‘South 40’ Campus Project Achieves LEED Gold Status - Clayco

Washington University ‘South 40’ Campus Project Achieves LEED Gold Status

St. Louis, MO (December 14, 2010)

Students who returned this fall to Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., enjoyed impressive enhancements made by Clayco Inc.’s recently completed South 40 Campus project. Promoting healthier lifestyles and environments, the project was recently awarded LEED Gold certification by the United States Green Building Council. 

The “South 40” is forty acres of land located directly South of the University’s Danforth Campus, and is home to about 3,000 students in 23 residence halls. In addition to the residences, the campus offers computer clusters, campus eateries, and other recreational activities outside of the classroom.

As Construction Manager, Clayco oversaw the removal of existing residence halls and a student center as part of this major renovation project, which began after classes ended in May 2008. In their place, Clayco managed the construction of two five-story residence halls, named Umrath Hall and South 40 House. The new buildings house a combined 606 students. The lower levels of the South 40 House contain a fitness center and a 49,000-square-foot kitchen area with more than 5,000 square feet of walk-in freezer/cooler space, serving the entire South 40 population. Various cafes, shops and other entertainment venues were also created. 

Modeled after European streetscapes, the student housing project was built with a pedestrian “spine” as a formal extension of the normal pathway that connects the South 40 residential campus with the academic campus to the north. The residence halls are located on either side of the high traffic walkway. Cascading stairs, ramps and a sloped garden lead to a lower plaza, creating a social center for the residential neighborhood.

“Serving as a new hub for student activity on the South 40 campus, these buildings embody state-of-the-art amenities and spaces for student engagement,” said Kirk Warden, Clayco Senior Vice President and Partner. “The new facilities promote healthy lifestyles, provide convenient retail outlets, and offer diverse dining options to create a unique student life experience.”

The project involved significant site improvements and a major utility infrastructure reconstruction, which included a new chilled water loop and domestic water, gas, fuel oil and fire water utilities throughout the South 40 campus. To facilitate the new chilled water loop, a 7,500-square-foot chiller plant with 1,000-ton chillers was incorporated into the design and construction, with future capacity for an additional 1,000-ton chiller. The project also required an extensive dock system which was strategically placed for easy transportation of materials and deliveries.

Located just above the commissary kitchen and loading dock area is a 7,500-square-foot green roof. This green roof provides a park-like atmosphere for the students residing in the newly constructed buildings, and separates the living areas from the kitchen areas below. With park benches, a future herb garden, and artistic vine towers, the green roof operates as a sanctuary for students. The green roof also added to the spirit of the facility, which recently achieved LEED-NC v2.2 Gold certification for environmentally-friendly construction practices.

“We were originally targeting LEED Silver certification on the project, but chose to incorporate additional innovative credits. In the end, the project achieved approval for every credit applied, which meant we had reached the Gold level. The perfect application is a showcase of the dedication that every team member displayed on the project,” continued Warden.

Also serving on the project were: Mackey Mitchell as the architect; Ross & Baruzzini, Inc. as the Mechanical Electrical Plumbing (MEP) engineer on the buildings; McClure Engineering Associates, Inc. as the MEP engineer on the site and chiller plant; EFK Moen, LLC as the civil engineer; and ASDG LLC as the structural engineer.