January Hall Renovation

January Hall was one of the five buildings on the Washington University campus to receive the LEED Platinum Certification in September 2020. This project was a renovation of an historic university building originally constructed in 1922. Renovations included administrative offices, classrooms, and the East Asian Library. An old lecture hall was transformed into an active learning classroom and provided with flexible seating arrangements and integrated technology.  Additionally, an expansion involved adding a new 22-seat seminar room and bathrooms on the lower level. 

January Hall was certified under LEED v4, the newest version of the LEED rating system with a higher standard for certification. This project was Washington University’s first project certified under LEED v4 Commercial Interiors rating system. 

Constructed in 1922, Grace Valle January Hall housed the School of Law from the mid-1920s until the completion of the Seeley Mudd Law Building in the early 1970s. January Hall is a 3-story limestone masonry building that has been the home of University College, the professional and continuing education division at Washington University in St. Louis. The program included interior renovation to the two lower floors including a redesigned dean’s suite, state-of-the-art pooled classroom space/interactive lab, an updated administrative suite, an office for University College student advising and a new elevator. The historic third floor East Asian library renovation was limited to restoration and reuse of the original wood-panels and furniture as well as a new HVAC system.   

January Hall is Washington University’s first LEED v4 Commercial Interiors project. The university adopted three primary requirements: 1) LEED Silver as the minimum certification level, 2) a minimum 20% improvement in energy performance–not energy cost–compared to ASHRAE 90.1-2010 energy standard and 3) prioritizing healthier materials and furniture. These requirements meant close coordination of the design team, including iterative energy modeling, optimizing envelope upgrade options such as interior storm windows, additional roof insulation, targeted envelope insulation upgrades and prioritization of healthier interior finishes. 

Energy Performance: 

January Hall accomplished a 35% savings in energy use reduction compared to similar renovation projects of this stature. This was achieved through improvements to its outer facade, including adding a second layer of interior glazing to windows, improving insulation to certain exterior walls, and improving roof insulation as part of the roof replacement. A new mechanical system was added with energy recovery and demand control. 

Indoor Water Use Reduction:  

Low flow plumbing fixtures were installed in the building, which reduced potable water consumption by 46.5% compared to the baseline building water use. 

Materials and Resources: 

In order to reduce the carbon footprint of the project, more than 60% of the historic furniture and wall paneling in the January Hall’s East Asian Library was preserved and reused. 96.3% of construction and demolition waste was diverted from landfills. Materials selected for the January Hall renovation were low-VOC (volatile organic compounds), prioritizing healthier building materials and furniture. Most furniture used was compliant with the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.