University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Electrical and Computer Engineering Building

Champaign, Illinois

230,000 GSF, 21,370 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Lab Planning, Landscape Architecture, Programming

Sustainable Programs
LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations (NC) LEED-NC-Platinum

Green GOOD DESIGN Award -- Green Architecture, Laboratory of the Year, Educational Facility Design Award - Award of Merit

View All Awards

“With this new building, we will continue to educate the leaders in our profession for generations to come and inspire engineering education.”

—Andreas C. Cangellaris, Dean, College of Engineering


Research laboratories are among the most energy-intensive building types. But with ECE planned as a center for research into energy-efficient technology, the client challenged SmithGroupJJR to deliver new standards in building energy performance – and even to explore opportunities that could potentially enable the building to supply its own energy.

Capturing the spirit of a department that pushes the limits of technological innovation, SmithGroupJJR’s ECE design also demonstrates a commitment to sustainability. Displacement and demand-controlled ventilation, heat-recovery chillers and chilled-beam technology help bring energy use to 46% below ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standards, an exceptional achievement considering the energy-intensive nature of a lab facility with an instructional clean room. In fact, the design targets LEED Platinum certification, and may even achieve an EPA EnergyStar rating of 99 out of 100.

But most importantly, ECE is programmed as a place where curiosity is celebrated and intellectual collisions occur naturally. Traffic flow and sightlines are carefully designed to foster collaboration, and interdisciplinary learning and cooperation.

Related Content

"Freedom to Dream Bigger"
This video, from the ECE department, captures the tremendous power of what this innovative facility means to the students, researchers and faculty.

2016 Laboratory of the Year
The ECE Building was recently named R&D Magazine's 2016 Laboratory of the Year, which recognizes excellence in research laboratory, design, planning and construction.

The ECE Building is Designed to be Net-Zero Energy
This site details the energy efficiency features of the ECE Building.