Loyola University Chicago’s high-tech digital library gets LEED Silver certification

January 20, 2009 |



Charting the way for sustainable campuses across the country, Loyola University Chicago’s year-old Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons, a digital research library designed by leading U.S. architecture firm, Solomon Cordwell Buenz, has been awarded LEED® Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. (Read BD+C's feature story on the building.

The four-story, 72,000 square foot Klarchek Information Commons integrates sustainable design features with innovative mechanical systems to reduce the building’s energy consumption by more than 50 percent.

“The goal was to build an environmentally conscious building that was complimentary to Loyola’s campus surroundings,” said SCB chairman John Lahey. “We designed the Klarchek Information Commons using some of the most cutting-edge, sustainable technologies, which helped us to achieve LEED Silver certification for the building.”





Contributing to the building’s LEED Silver certification are a series of mechanical systems controlled by sensors monitoring temperature, humidity, and CO2 levels within the building, as well as outside the building. 

Some of the digital library’s unique features include:

• Chicago’s first double-skin façade to provide passive management of heat flow and ventilation

• A state-of-the-art climate control system that uses heated and chilled water delivered from existing campus facilities

• Radiant concrete slab ceilings to provide thermal mass to cool in the summer and heat in the winter

• A green roof that collects rainwater and mitigates run-off to Lake Michigan

“Since its opening, the Klarchek Information Commons has received rave reviews and quickly become the most popular, and ‘green,’ building on our Lake Shore Campus,” said Wayne Magdziarz, chief of staff and vice president of capital planning at Loyola. “With its state-of-the-art technology offerings and ‘green’ appeal, the building serves as an ideal place for our students to learn, share, connect, create, and relax while on campus.”

“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy, and threats to human health,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO & founding chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “The work of innovative building projects such as the Klarchek Information Commons is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”



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