W.A. Franke College of Business

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The open floor plan of the W.A. Franke College of Business invites students to stay after classes and enjoy 32,000 square feet of informal meeting spaces.


  • A building designed around communication and collaboration between students, faculty, and outside organizations.
  • The grand central staircase cascades through open floors and promotes visibility and communication.
  • Innovative front porches provide short-term, technology-rich collaboration spaces at the entryways of classrooms and computer labs.
  • Break out areas provide team-oriented, longer-term collaboration spaces with technology.
  • The Career Development Office promotes student engagement with employers.
  • The Business Communications Center provides resources to help students develop strong and diverse verbal and written communication skills.
  • Full wireless Internet access throughout the building.
  • In-house information technology student help desk.

Achieving LEED Gold

Energy efficiency

  • Natural ventilation replenishes air quality.
  • Concrete floors act as thermal mass, capturing cold night air and providing natural cooling during summer days.
  • Natural lighting available in over 75 percent of working areas.
  • Motion detectors manage all office lighting.
  • Computer-controlled hallway lighting levels.


  • All floors were constructed using 18-inch raised flooring to house electrical, data, water, and ventilation.
  • Concrete pillars provide a load-bearing structure.
  • Non-load-bearing walls are easily remodeled, extending the building’s lifespan.

Reduced building impact

  • 86 percent of construction waste was diverted to reclamation facilities.
  • Construction materials were 26 percent recycled content by cost.
  • 44 percent of materials by cost were manufactured within 500 miles.
  • 21 percent of raw materials by cost were gathered within 500 miles.

Water efficiency

  • Reclaimed water usage cut potable water consumption by 93 percent.
  • Xeriscape landscaping designed for water conservation.


  • About 40 percent of the computing within the building is on thin client, which allows students and faculty to access computers from a large server using a slim and energy-efficient device
  • Thin client computing lessens environmental manufacturing and disposal impacts.
  • Thin client computing reduces electrical costs and lowers the university carbon footprint.