Loyola University Chicago | Institute for Environmental Sustainability

Loyola University Chicago Institute for Environmental Sustainability

The Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES) at Loyola University is a higher education facility unlike any in the nation. It’s an innovative, interactive, and adaptable sustainable living and learning environment.

Cotter provided project management for the IES, which included renovation and new construction components. The north end of the building houses classroom and lab space for Loyola’s Sustainability Program and the south end features a new residence hall. The learning and living spaces are connected by a three-story glass structure that features a winter garden with a passive tempering system. The garden is used for teaching, research, and to grow food for the student café.

Other sustainable features include 91 geothermal wells that supply heating and cooling, two aquaponics systems that provide fish and vegetables for the café, and a Clean Energy Lab.



Net Zero, LEED Gold Certification


  • 2015 Architizer A+ Awards Special Mention, Architecture + Sustainability
  • 2014 Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI) Excellence in Structural Engineering Award – Best Project, $5 Million to $50 Million
  • 2013 GE Edison Award for Environmental Design

Chicago, Illinois



Square footage


Project completion

Project Team

IES thoroughly embodies Loyola’s commitment to the concept of “integral ecology” (-Pope Francis) – and to using the campus as a learning lab to support sustainability across the curriculum. I can only imagine what it would be like to be a student living and learning on this campus.


First of all, we wanted a facility that would be a learning facility so that students could learn many different skills, but we also wanted the building itself to sort of walk the walk. In other words, we wanted this building to be the most environmentally and energy-efficient as we could possibly get.

Nancy Tuchman

Founding Director of Loyola’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Have a project
in mind?