Loy­ola Uni­ver­si­ty, Insti­tute of Envi­ron­men­tal Sustainability

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The new Loyola Institute of Environmental Sustainability combines academics and research with sustainable agriculture and community living. The Institute houses the university’s nationally recognized sustainability programs preparing students to become leaders in environmental research, policy, and justice.

Schuler Shook’s lighting design challenge was to mirror these sustainable themes to reinforce the concept of this unique building. To achieve this, designers employed environmentally-friendly strategies such as maximizing the use of daylight, utilizing energy-efficient, low-mercury content sources, and controlling fixtures via a digital dimming system and occupancy/vacancy sensors.

The Ecodome, the soaring glass feature of the complex, provides ventilation, collects rain water, and provides natural light for the plants growing inside. When daylight is abundant, lighting fixtures are turned off as part of the daylight harvesting strategy employed throughout all the daylit spaces.

The Geothermal system, housed in the student lounge beneath the winter garden, reaches 500-feet below ground, where the temperature remains 58° all year long. This system heats and cools the building, cutting yearly costs by approximately 30%. To draw attention to this unique system beneath the floor of the student lounge walkway, 12” LED fixtures with a cool color temperature were concealed on either side of the well.

With 110 LEED points submitted, the project is currently being considered for LEED Platinum certification.


Chicago, IL


Solomon Cordwell Buenz


  • IES Illu­mi­na­tion Design Award of Mer­it, 2014
  • GE Edi­son Award for Envi­ron­men­tal Design, 2013
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