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Commons Center

Vanderbilt University,

The Commons Center is part of Vanderbilt University’s undergraduate “living-learning initiative,” supporting a community of ten college houses. The program includes a 600-seat main dining hall, servery and production facility; lounges, meeting rooms, administrative offices, and academic support center; a post office, fitness facility, and 24-hour café.

The LEED Gold building carefully balances contemporary and classical design; its modern forms and composition use materials that reflect the existing brick and stone of the neighboring structures, including a National Register collection of Classical Revival 1920s buildings.

The design maximizes daylighting and passive shading and uses skylights, sun-tracking shades and switches, and eco-sensitive fireplaces. Water-efficient design saves an estimated 900,000 gallons of potable water annually. Other green features include waste grease collection and an outdoor composting facility.


2010 Urban Land Institute | ULI Nashville, Excellence in Development Award
2008 Association of College Unions International | Facility Design of Excellence Award
2008 American School & University | Outstanding Project Award, Educational Interiors
2008 U.S. Green Building Council | Green Star Award
2007 Associated Builders & Contractors of Tennessee | Award of Excellence and Design
2007 College Planning & Management | Green Design Award, Judges’ Choice


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115,000 sf

COST (2007)

$25 million