CCH brings sustainable new life to a 1960’s building on the Rutgers University Livingston Campus

Tillett Hall is one of the original buildings constructed on the Rutgers University Livingston Campus in 1967 (then called Livingston College).  The building was designed by Anderson Beckwith and Haible of Boston, MA along with Associate Architect Frank Grad and Sons of Newark, NJ and is an example of “Brutalist” modern architecture.  The second floor was home to the former Livingston Campus Dining Hall which was relocated in 2011 to the Livingston Dining Commons adjacent to the Livingston Campus Center.  This vacated second floor space is set to become 13 classrooms and lecture halls, and the reconfigured first floor space below will add classrooms as well as computer labs and a renovated post office.

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Rutgers sought to transform this former dining hall into the largest classroom building on the Livingston Campus.  The design team reconfigured portions of the first and second floor of the structure so that many classroom types and scales are accommodated.  The classrooms were designed to take advantage of the large floor-to-ceiling windows around the perimeter of the building.  Existing dark corridors are transformed by back-lit signage and large-scale graphics and the main entry lobbies are renovated to take advantage of the best architectural elements while introducing new materials and colors to modernize and humanize the spaces.

The project required the design team to investigate mechanical systems which coordinate with the existing building infrastructure.  The resulting design is an elegant solution which utilizes a combination of existing ducts, chillers, pumps, and air handling units and introduces additional rooftop air cooled chillers, air handling units, and supplemental pumps.  In aggregate, the customized design allowed for minimal demolition and disruption while providing the University with a fully re-vamped system which significantly reduces the energy use (most of the electricity is provided by the Livingston Campus’ massive solar array).  The renovated building will also be Rutgers’ first all-LED classroom building with at least four lighting zones in each classroom.  The project is designed to meet or exceed the requirements of LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors “Silver” criteria and is estimated to use 23% less energy of a newly constructed building meeting the minimum current energy use standards.  Rutgers also saved considerable emissions and energy use by re-using the Tillett Hall building and not demolishing it.

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