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UW Superior - Swenson Hall

Superior, WI

Swenson Hall is a new 144,000 sq. ft. academic building to house 21 modern technology laboratories and faculty offices for six departments on the campus. The building features classrooms with flexible layouts and the latest learning technology, specialized labs for teaching and undergraduate research, faculty offices, and student tutoring services and academic centers. The buildings’ north and south wings are connected by a soaring central atrium that is an extension of the campus mall and functions as a large meeting space as well as a location for study and informal gatherings.

Swenson Hall is a gorgeous building that offsets its size with successful efforts in sustainability, energy efficiency, and day lighting. However its true value and the reason it is worthy of recognition is for being extremely responsive to the needs and desires of the faculty, staff, and students who utilize this institution of higher learning. 

Swenson Hall is designed based on LEED Silver sustainability standards. The central atrium space is actually a light well with interior light shelves to provide additional daylighting to interior spaces. Exterior sun shades and vegetative trellises prevent solar heat gain in the summer.

Sustainable features include:

  • Recycling of 88% of construction waste and debris.
  • Light Conservation
    • Building is positioned in an east-west orientation to take advantage of passive solar energy.
    • Reduced electrical use for interior lighting through the use of natural light, daylight sensors, and motion sensors.
    • Central light well brings light into all interior spaces.
  • Building finishes including floor tile, carpet, and ceramic tile are made with recycled materials.
  • Green Screens
    • Living screens with native vines will block out excessive sunlight in summer but allow daylight to enter the building in winter after the leaves drop.
    • Interior light shelves redirect lighting for more efficiency.
    • Exterior sun shades block excessive sunlight in summer.
  • Improved Energy Performance through energy efficient mechanical systems.
  • No additional parking added to the site.


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Project Details

  • AREA
    144,000 Total sq. ft.