Mammel Hall, located on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), is a new 120,000-square-foot building housing the school's College of Business Administration (CBA). Designed by Gensler and architect of record Holland Basham Architects, this three-story facility, which opened last fall, uses some unexpected strategies to illuminate its interior spaces.

Unlike the dark, constrained spaces in the old CBA, located in a 50-year-old structure on UNO's original Dodge Street campus, Gensler's design provides a larger, more modern space as the university expands its campus footprint. The new building engages students, faculty, and staff while meeting the programmatic needs of the university. It alsocreates a sense of community, an important consideration given that the new building is located some distance away from the Dodge Street campus.

One of the building's most dramatic spaces is the east atrium, which provides students, faculty, and staff with a vast, daylight-filled main entrance and a central meeting space. The lighting designers, Toby Samuelson and Rebecca Cherney of Farris Lighting, a division of Farris Engineering, collaborated with the architects to bring as much natural light as possible into the 52-foot-tall space. The north and southeast walls are composed of floor-to-ceiling glass, while the east side uses clerestory windows to harvest additional daylight. Long-life induction downlights are recessed into the atrium ceiling, and, coupled with photosensors mounted underneath the second-level mezzanine, provide general illumination. Split into two zones-north and south-these sensors turn off the induction luminaires when sufficient daylight is present.

The student lounge is another main gathering space. Ten-foot-tall custom steel pendants are suspended 12 feet above the floor in this 50-foot-tall space. The design intent was to visually lower the ceiling of the large volume and make the space seem more intimate and inviting for students to sit and relax. The pendants, with acrylic tips illuminated by halogen PAR lamps, are on a dimmer to set desired light levels and to extend lamp life. "The intent was that the owner has the option of replacing the lamps with LED retrofit lamps as costs go down," Samuelson explains.

Additional lighting for the lounge includes a daylight-harvesting clerestory that wraps the lounge perimeter and recessed induction downlights. Outfitted with daylight sensors, the fixtures are turned off during the majority of the facilities' operating hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Because maintenance and energy consumption are major concerns for the university, the designers chose sources with long lives for heavily trafficked areas. This led to the selection and installation of 20W LED downlights-rather than 26W compact fluorescents-for the offices, corridors, and vertical circulation spaces. The use of efficient sources including LED and linear-fluorescent fixtures (which total nearly 95 percent of the facility's lamps) earned the project a LEED Innovation in Design credit for minimizing the presence of mercury.

To provide students and faculty with a space that was as engaging as possible, both the university and the building donor required that 1 percent of the cost of the building be dedicated to providing art in the public areas. Using energy-efficient sources for the general and circulation lighting meant there were more watts available for dramatic accent lighting in the public spaces and for artwork displays throughout the building. The result is a design that is 20 percent below the energy requirements of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004, including art lighting.

Another step in creating an efficient but quality lit environment was the introduction of a lighting control system integrated with the building management network for easy programming and monitoring of energy usage. The system, set to run during operating hours, controls the illumination of all the interior public spaces as well as the exterior plaza and the site. All the large atrium areas are managed by zoned daylight sensors, while smaller spaces, such as classrooms, incorporate manual on/auto-off controls. The exterior and site lighting utilize photocells. At 10 p.m., all of the building lighting, inside and out, automatically turns off.

Thoughtful selection of light sources integrated with daylight harvesting enabled the designers to devise a lighting plan that does not use a single 2x4 fluorescent troffer, and in December the CBA attained a LEED Gold certification-the first LEED building for the university's campus. The designers sought to achieve "a lighting design that complimented the architectural style of the building," explains lighting designer Rebecca Cherney, "while paying close attention to maintenance and controls" Samuelson adds. The resulting lighting design creates a unified facility that is aesthetically pleasing yet functional, efficient, and maintenance friendly.


Project: Mammel Hall College of Business Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska
Client: University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska
Design Architect: Gensler, Denver, Colo.
Architect of Record: Holland Basham Architects, Omaha
Lighting Designer: Farris Lighting Group, Omaha, Nebraska
MEP Engineers: Farris Engineering, Omaha
Structural Engineers: Nielsen-Baumert Engineering, Omaha
Civil Engineers: Lamp Rynearson & Associates, Omaha
Landscape Architects: Olsson Associates, Omaha
Project Cost: $26.8 million
Lighting Cost: $583,766, $4.80/square foot (interior lighting); $67,562 (exterior lighitng), $122,559 (lighting controls)
Project Size: 121,671 square feet
Energy code compliance: Interior: 20 percent below ASHRAE 90.1-2004; Exterior: 60 percent below ASHRAE 90.1-2004
Watts per Square Foot: 0.96 (including lighting for artwork)
Manufacturers: Amerlux, Bega, Delta, Erco, Focal Point, Gotham Lighting, Kirlin Co., Linear Linghting, Lithonia Lighting, Louis Poulsen, Peerless, Pinnacle, Philips Lightolier, Philips, Prudential Ltg., Sensor Switch, Philips Translite Systems, Winona Lighting