Western Michigan University

Dunbar Hall

Kalamazoo, Michigan // 78,000 sq. ft.

TowerPinkster partnered with HGA on this holistic renovation, which entails scaling the building to its skeleton and rebuilding and upgrading it to a contemporary learning environment.

Dunbar Hall houses over a dozen academic programs and is home to WMU’s College of Arts and Sciences. It is the second most-used facility on campus, hosting 605 courses for more than 17,000 students. With the desire to provide hubs for student creativity, the Dunbar Media Suite provides an interdisciplinary hub equipped with top-of-the-line broadcasting, podcasting, and journalism equipment.

In line with WMU’s vision to improve the image of the buildings facing Stadium Drive, an 11,000 SF glass addition was designed with a top-floor state-of-the-art dance studio. A signature entrance was designed for both public and student access.

Improvements throughout the renovation have achieved energy and water efficiency, and innovative features such as green roofs and glass designed to deter bird strikes were included. The existing building envelope is being analyzed to determine how to improve the energy performance of the building. A key factor in this study will be the improvement of the R-value (thermal insulation) of the building enclosure to maximize energy efficiency and harness the natural resources of sunlight and wind to our advantage. Our building science team is currently seeking LEED certification for this project. Dunbar Hall is projected to achieve LEED Gold which is surpassing the anticipated level of Silver.

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