Lee Hall Complex Expansion, Clemson, SC, USA

Lee Hall Complex Expansion

The new hangar-like hall is linked to the old complex, which originated in the 50s. It blends studios, seminar rooms, and offices into a fully collaborative and open space. Consequently, a high environmental quality – in terms of acoustic, thermal, and visual comfort as well as air quality – was essential for the success of the project. Radiant slab cooling in a mixed-humid climate and passive design elements, including controlled daylight and automated natural ventilation, were also integral to the architectural design.
Due to the glazed walls and 25 skylights in the roof, the space is naturally illuminated even on cloudy days. Fixed conical “shrouds” protecting the skylights modulate the light entering the building. Direct zenithal light is blocked, reducing internal heat gains and the artificial lighting loads. Fourty-six geothermal wells provide the energy for radiant heating and cooling in the concrete floor and the concrete-over-steel deck of the mezzanine. A closed-loop geothermal heat pump offsets the entire heating and cooling load of the building.
Passive ventilation brings in fresh air via automated transom windows, which are installed above manually operable ones. The natural ventilation and radiant cooling permit a clean and open space without any ductwork.
The sloping roof is topped with 90,000 ft² (8,364 m²) of sedum in engineered soil to mitigate the heat-island effect.