Academic Student Services
Lake Superior College’s commitment to high-quality student services and sustainable goals provided an excellent background for a quality design partnership with LHB. The project, funded by general obligation bonds, was centered on improving the student experience from the first introduction to the college to well after graduation. This focus created one of the first “one-stop shop” models in the Minnesota State system, providing a single point of contact for financial aid, registration, advising, and other services. Surrounding the service area are high-quality, technology-rich classrooms to support a variety of teaching methodologies.
From a sustainability perspective, the 22,000-square-foot project centered on a number of key strategies. This was the first Minnesota State project to implement thermal displacement ventilation, providing optimal air quality with low CO2 levels while eliminating fan noise in the classrooms. Other components included reduced energy use through efficient systems, natural daylighting with integrated lighting controls, the use of recycled materials and additional strategies that resulted in LEED Certification.
Improving daylighting, reducing heat gain
One of the defining features of this building is the innovative solar shading. Because of the owner’s design standards, they could not be integrated into the frames to reduce solar heat gain. LHB designed a structural shading system that complied with the owner’s requirements and is thermally separated for optimal performance of the exterior wall.
Education beyond traditional students
LSC has served the community workforce in greater Duluth for more than a decade. One goal of LSC was to provide services and training to the region’s residents in flexible, high-quality spaces. High ceilings allow for great daylighting, thermal displacement ventilation, and acoustics.