Loyola University, Greening of the Campus; Chicago, Illinois

Client: Loyola University Chicago
Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Engineers: Elara Engineering; JJR, LLC
Contractor: Power Construction Company
Category: Design - Institutional

Loyola University Chicago, Lake Shore Campus is undergoing an unprecedented campus enrichment of facilities and grounds to create a learning environment that extends beyond their classroom walls. The institution has made a commitment to address sustainability with every new building and site improvement, employing such strategies as renewable energy, stormwater quality and management, public access, and native landscaping.

Throughout this campus enrichment process, the landscape architect has provided leadership to campus site planning and implementation, leading an integrated team of professionals in the development of a campus framework plan that serves as a guide for facility placement, with an emphasis on sustainability, campus identity, pedestrian access, open space, and linkages to Lake Michigan and the City of Chicago urban fabric and public transportation.

Halfway through the recommended phased improvements, completed phases include the Quinlan Life Science Building with a vegetative roof and native landscape that serve as outdoor classrooms, the North Quad with permeable walks and permeable synthetic turf that reduces maintenance, and most recently the LEED-certified Information Commons and East Quad with permeable walks, native landscaping and a vegetative roof. Future phases include the Chapel Garden, incorporating a rain garden, boardwalk, and rain water cistern, the West Quad and two new academic buildings.
A reinforcement of the ideals of the university, the campus milieu is treasured by the Loyola community. This connection to place is also evident in the school's enrollment, which has been steadily increasing since the greening of the campus began. While Loyola's commitment to the environment has been recognized for achievement, it is the institution's ability to attract and retain students, faculty, staff and administration that makes it truly sustainable.