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CREATING A DYNAMIC LIVING EXPERIENCE FOR IOWA STATE STUDENTS

With a growing student population and increasing demand for on-campus housing, Iowa State University (ISU) chose Opus Design Build, L.L.C. and Opus AE Group, L.L.C., to deliver its first new residence hall in more than a decade on its Ames, Iowa, campus.

As the university’s first new residence hall in more than a decade, this significant project required a thoughtful and creative design. To provide the most value possible for the budget, Opus’ design-build team went above and beyond, including more of what the university wanted and designing the building to serve students for decades to come, including:

  • maximized bed count (12% more beds that ISU’s minimum requirement at up to 45% lower cost per bed than comparable projects),
  • a lobby entrance twice the size of the minimum requirement,
  • a nearly column-free structure that provides future flexibility,
  • increased sustainability through LEED Gold level design and construction strategies and
  • a student-centered design with increased natural light and ample study and social spaces throughout the building.

Opus delivered all of this and more for over $1 million less than ISU’s targeted budget.

Hearing the university’s request for a building that would foster learning and encourage student interaction and socialization, Opus designed the building with a variety of informal and formal gathering spaces, including a large activity room, an outdoor patio, various study areas, community spaces on each floor and a dedicated lounge for each house, a unique part of Iowa State’s housing system that groups 40 to 50 students living on the same floor.

The eight-story, 193,000-square-feet residence hall has 784 total beds, and each room accommodates two students.

Construction on the building began in summer 2015 and was completed on a rapid 20 month schedule, finishing in time for the spring 2017 semester. It was named Geoffroy Hall after ISU President Emeritus, Gregory L. Geoffroy.