The Chicago office of HOK recently announced that the new Health and Sciences Center at the College of DuPage (COD) in Glen Ellyn, Ill. is complete and occupied.

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The 188,000-sq-ft facility, which was designed by HOK’s Chicago office, houses a combination of laboratory, classroom, office and instructional spaces for COD’s Health Careers and Natural Sciences programs.

With enrollment of more than 31,000 students, COD is the largest single-campus community college in the U.S. outside California.

“The client’s goal was to provide a modern, sustainable facility that would house all of COD’s Health Careers and Natural Sciences programs, which were previously housed in different locations across campus,” says Erik Andersen, design principal for the project.

“With that in mind, HOK began the design process by considering the sizes, modulations and qualitative requirements of each space type needed.”

The unique requirement of co-locating two disparate programs led the design team to quickly recognize that the spaces needed for the natural sciences programs were generally larger and had more intensive mechanical requirements, but could also be somewhat standardized in size and scale.

The Health Careers spaces, conversely, required some unique configurations, but did not involve complex HVAC needs.

For that reason, the designers recommended that the natural sciences programs occupy three floors in the East Wing with HVAC functions appropriately stacked, while the Health Careers programs could be handily accommodated on two floors in the West Wing.

This planning and stacking strategy provided a space-efficient way of integrating the two programs within a single building.