University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
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University of Chicago Renee – Granville Residential Commons

The Renee Granville-Grossman Residential Commons is of significance because it marked a turning point in the University of Chicago’s strategy to create a more student-centered residential campus in which residential life becomes a more critical component of the larger civic culture of the community. The project consists of a new 367,000 SF undergraduate residential and dining facility adjacent to the University’s historic Burton Judson Courts Resident Halls.

This student housing and dining complex comprising eight 100-student houses, was designed to create a sense of community while establishing a model for high-rise student living. It occupies a site on the south edge of the campus and forms a distinctive anchor as the University meets its residential neighborhood. Key challenges were to accommodate this large program on the site, and to express an image appropriate to the context that included the adjacent collegiate gothic style residence hall. The facility includes an underground loading dock and tunnel system that connects the loading dock to the residence halls, dining facility, and adjacent law school.

DMA provided civil engineering services for this project. Our work included design and construction phase services. Site work included site demolition and preparation, significant utility infrastructure modifications, site layout, grading and drainage design, storm water management, and maintenance of traffic at this busy campus site. Our services included coordination with multiple stakeholder groups including University Facilities Services, Capital Project Delivery Group, and the City of Chicago.

The project was designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification standards, which included Low Impact Development (LID) strategies such as permeable paving; reduction in heat island effect through the use of green roofs; rain gardens and bio-swales to reduce and filter runoff; and increased water efficiency through use of native and drought tolerant plant materials.

Services Performed