Lawrence University – Richard and Margot Warch Campus Center

Project: Lawrence University – Richard and Margot Warch Campus Center

Location: Appleton, WI

Architect: Uihlein-Wilson Architects & KSS Architects

Products: WOODWORKS Tegular

WOODWORKS Linear Veneered Planks

The Challenge:

In order for Millikan Hall to achieve Pomona College’s first LEED® Platinum certification, it had to meet ambitious sustainability and user-comfort goals during its rebuild. For the sustainable design, the College turned to the building’s stakeholders, which included faculty, students, and staff from math, physics, and astronomy departments.

The Solution:

Over 20,000 square feet of radiant ceiling panels serve the heating and cooling comfort in 60% of the building (45,000 SF) containing offices and classrooms. The team selected METALWORKS AIRTITE radiant ceiling panels to integrate with other ceiling design, lighting, and acoustical systems. For the higher load portion of the building (40%) with labs and machine shop, the team chose to apply active chilled beams for cooling with heating from a coil on the airside Variable Air Volume (VAV) box.

When compared to other mixed-use lab and office buildings with nearly equal ratios of these uses, and in similar climate zones, the Millikan Hall is using 75% less energy. Further, the building achieved significant savings (68%) compared to its pre-retrofit levels. Through a range of factors, including the selection of a radiant system for heating and cooling the office portion, Millikan Hall energy use is very low for its type and design.

“The radiant system was vastly more energy efficient than an ‘allair’ solution. With the potential to drastically reduce ‘complaint calls’ due to thermal comfort issues during all seasons, and reduce energy costs, the radiant system became a win-win,” said Nate Eppley, Integral Group.

The Challenge:

According to Nat Stein, project architect for Uihlein-Wilson, the design team wanted to stay true to the setting of the campus, located high on a bluff overlooking the Fox River, by using a great deal of wood in the school’s new campus center. They also wanted to attain LEED® certification.

He explains the design team decided on an open plenum look to maintain a sense of height in the building. However, they knew they also wanted to break up views of the exposed mechanical systems by adding cleaner lines in the ceilings.


The Solution:

Two different styles of WOODWORKS ceiling systems from Armstrong, both of which are FSC-certified and contribute to LEED Materials & Resources Credit 7.0 (Certified Wood), were selected for the center.

WOODWORKS Tegular panels were installed in 6-foot-wide ceiling clouds in the center’s café. “We knew the students wanted something attractive in this space, so we definitely wanted to use wood here,” Stein notes.

The same panels were used in a coffered ceiling in the center’s meeting area. “This is the most finished space in the building,” Stein adds. “As a result, we wanted a more upscale visual and still continue the look of wood.”

To provide sound control, the panels are perforated and backed with an acoustical fleece. When perforated, WOODWORKS panels have a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) of 0.65, meaning they absorb 65% of the sound that strikes them.

WOODWORKS Linear planks were used in the ceiling clouds in the center’s main corridor and great room. “We went with a linear form in these clouds to replicate the tongue-and-groove style of the building’s wood structural system,” Stein notes.

As a result of the design team efforts, the facility was awarded LEED-NC Gold, and is the first higher education building in Wisconsin to achieve this level of recognition