Clemson University had a need to upgrade and expand its educational space for its students and faculty in the schools of architecture, construction science, and visual arts. Lee hall, the campus facility housing the three schools, was overcrowded and needed much improvement in order for the University to continue to attract students from around the country to their institution. Thus Clemson embarked on a building program to enhance not only the building; but, more importantly, the educational experience of the students studying there. Built in the 1950s, and updated in the 1970s, the building had served its original purpose well; however, it needed an extensive modern “facelift” and expansion to create a rejuvenated, open and accommodating learning space for its highly creative students studying these fields of endeavor.
The overall project was broken down into three phases in order to allow for renovation and construction activities to be scheduled with minimal disruption to ongoing activities in the building. Phases 1 & 2 focused on renovation of the existing Lee Hall. These phases included a complete refurbishment of the architectural finishes and spaced within the building, with limited upgrades to the mechanical and electrical systems. Phase 3 was designated for the new building expansion and incorporated a new 90,000 sf learning facility adjacent and connecting to the old Lee Hall building. Designed for LEED Gold certification, the expansion features a glass exterior skin; open interior to encourage student/faculty collaboration; and natural lighting through the façade and skylight features. Through the use of geothermal wells, systems provide heating and cooling by radiating through the concrete floors of the energy-efficient building addition. They also provide tempered water that is distributed through 9 radiant zones throughout the building. Accommodations for solar HVAC and water applications at a later date were included in the construction of the facility.
Waldrop’s mechanical/plumbing scope of work included new duct systems and refurbishment of equipment in Phases 1 and 2, along with a state-of-the art, European style, radiant cooling and heating system with an under-floor piping system. All plumbing systems and fixtures were designed around water conversation objectives established by the design team.