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Sangren Hall, Western Michigan University

SHW Group

Project Name

Sangren Hall, Western Michigan University


4121 Sangren Hall

1903 W Michigan Ave.


Project Status


Year Completed



230,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost



Western Michigan University


  • Interior Designer: SHW Group
  • : SHW Group
  • Civil Engineer: Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc.
  • Structural Engineer: SHW Group
  • Landscape Architect: Site Design Solutions
  • General Contractor: Miller Davis
  • Electrical Engineer: SHW Group

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Project Description

Western Michigan University’s new Sangren Hall has literally and figuratively transformed WMU’s campus core. The new Sangren Hall replaces the original Sangren Hall, which was completed in 1964. With 30 percent more seats than the former facility, the new building is expected to carry on the original Sangren Hall’s legacy as one of the university’s most heavily utilized classroom buildings.

Inside the four-story facility are 50 classrooms with 2,435 instructional seats; two 200-seat auditoriums, an education library, a grants and research center, and office and clinical space for specific programs.

The building is designed to meet the needs of 21st century students while accommodating for a wide variety of learning styles. For this reason, a variety of spaces – small classrooms, large auditoriums, breakout areas, and a café – are incorporated throughout the building, all with varying degrees of privacy and noise level. In addition, specialized rooms, such as model K-12 classrooms with attached observation rooms, are incorporated to meet the needs of the college of education students.

Flexible elements are incorporated throughout the project, integrating opportunities for informal learning into the building circulation. Collaborative learning spaces are situated outside of every classroom and banquette seating featuring embedded technology is placed throughout. In addition, all corridors incorporate a playful notion of seating with both small and large configurations for group and individual study.

Designed to achieve LEED Gold Certification, Sangren Hall is expected to save $345,000 annually on energy costs over the old Sangren Hall. Furthermore, compared to the ASHRAE standard building, Sangren Hall uses 30 to 35 percent less energy and 50 percent less water.

Sustainable features include:
• Live Roof
• Energy Recovery
• On-Site Storm Water Infiltration System
• High Performance Building Enclosure
• Demand Control Ventilation
• Supplemental UV filtration in the air ducts

In addition, a photo-voltaic panel array for the roof, which is currently finalizing design, will provide a portion of the electricity used by the building.
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