SERA studied options to transform Neuberger Hall from an aging, 1960s era building into a modern, high performance classroom building that responds to the current pedagogy of Portland State University. Neuberger currently serves as the home for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, houses both classroom and office space, and is one of the most heavily utilized general purpose classroom buildings at PSU.
SERA assessed the design opportunities and constraints, investigated the condition of each building system, and quantified the university’s program needs (including growth projections). The findings were combined with goals developed during a series of visioning exercises and an eco-charette conducted with PSU’s Building Advisory Committee. This information was synthesized into a range of design options. The schemes were adjusted to reflect the goals of the PSU Framework Plan, including the emerging concept of an EcoDistrict.
The design team quickly explored nine renovation schemes ranging from deferred maintenance to capital improvement modernization solutions. The recommended scheme was selected in conjunction with PSU Facilities staff and the Building Advisory Committee. To maximize the impact of the requested deferred maintenance funding, the scheme focused on no-cost modernization opportunities created by construction activities necessary to address the prioritized deferred maintenance deficiencies. The selected renovation scheme improved building access, wayfinding, classroom and office distribution, energy and seismic performance while limiting overall area of renovation to approximately 40% of the building.