• Location
    Chicago, IL
  • LEED Rating Gold
  • Awards
    AIA Design Excellence Awards – Citation of Merit, 2010
  • Owner
    Columbia College Chicago
  • Architect
    Studio Gang Architects
  • Completed

This 40,000 sq. ft. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED©) NCv2.2 Gold Media Production Center for Columbia College Chicago combined large film and animation studios with classrooms and workshops on an urban campus. As the first new building for the College, it fortified the school’s competitive edge in film-making and animation, as well as highlighted its design-forward identity.

Due to the complex nature of the sound stages with intense occupant and lighting loads, dbHMS worked in close collaboration with the acoustical engineer and architect and suggested Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) studies to test the design approach. The CFD results showed that delivering air just above head level combined with cooling from a radiant cool floor slab could keep students comfortable and save energy and equipment capacity. The result was a reduced system size for the two stages, saving the school $250,000 (50% of the first cost) with energy savings over the life of the building still to come. The fee for dbHMS to perform the CFD studies was less than 5% of those savings.

dbHMS worked with the numerous consultants and owner representatives to determine requirements and coordinate the design and routing of raceways through architecturally significant spaces. All in all, the building has enough power to run a small manufacturing plant and enough low voltage wire to support a motion picture studio, while achieving LEED© Gold level certification.