Upper Division Housing

Washington and Lee University
Lexington, Virginia

The Upper Division Housing at Washington and Lee University is a student housing complex consisting of eight multi-unit townhouse buildings, seven multi-unit apartment buildings, two mixed use civic buildings, and a pavilion structure. The architectural design captures and reflects elements of the local native architecture unique to the area and campus of Washington and Lee. The mixed use civic buildings include student housing, commercial office space, a fitness space, and food and beverage services. The townhouses and apartments are provided with ADA accessible student accommodations. Design of the pavilion space includes provisions for seasonal entertainment, outdoor gas fire pits, and restroom facilities. The project provided over three hundred accommodations for third year and upper division students.

In an effort to expedite the construction schedule, the University elected to utilize modular construction for the apartment and townhouse buildings versus using conventional stick-frame construction. The design team provided the modular building manufacturer with detailed engineered drawings which outlined all of the required mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection infrastructure. The building modules were constructed at a remote facility and transported to the project site where they were assembled. Once the buildings were erected, final utility connections were made on site.

The decision to utilize modular construction did prove to be a challenge as it required more rigorous coordination in routing of MEP/FP utilities in and between adjacent modules, as well as with tie ins with the project site utilities. The mechanical system design utilizes efficient yet cost effective split system heat pump units. Each building is protected with a complete automatic fire sprinkler system.

In addition to the building structures, the project included the expansion of multiple parking lots and pedestrian walkways with LED lighting. The project also outfitted one of the University’s existing sports fields with the latest Musco sports all LED lighting system. This project was the first LED illuminated collegiate level sports lighting project in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The campus communications and 12.47 KV primary power distribution system was extended as part of this project. Manhole utility structures, primary distribution switches, and primary transformers were carefully planned to coordinate with other utilities on site, to maintain the views of the campus, and maintain clean green spaces for student activities. Utility infrastructure designs incorporated provisions for future expansion.