University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illini Union

Urbana, IL

Exterior view, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Illini Union student center building.


The Illini Union student center was built in 1940 and enlarged in 1960 to approximately 320,000 square feet. It is considered one of the campus’ signature buildings and is an anchor of the main quad. GBA handled multiple renovation projects to ensure continued efficient operations and to reflect changing needs and objectives for the facility. Work is ongoing.

Master Planning and Renovation Design

This complex building includes study space, a food court, recreational facilities (including billiards and bowling), a hotel, a bookstore, an art gallery, offices for student groups, a health resource center, student legal services offices, and a computer lab.

Renovation projects have included:

  • South Building electrical service: Replacement of existing service to prevent potential disruptions due to equipment failure.
  • Combined kitchen hood and AHU direct digital controls renovation: Energy conservation project adding DDC systems to existing kitchen exhaust hoods and building exhaust fans; modifying constant air volume systems in the South Building with DDC and VFD controls; and optimizing VAV systems recently installed in the North Building.
  • Refrigeration cooling tower: Replacing an existing evaporative cooling tower with redundant heat exchangers using the campus chilled water loop, for more efficient and reliable service to the building’s many refrigeration and freezer units.
  • Dining Services renovations: Establishing temporary dining services during demolition and construction of the dining hall and kitchen complex at the Illinois Street Residence Halls.

View More Projects

Interested in learning more about how GBA can assist with your facility objectives? Our portfolio is a great place to start. 

Skyscraper board room

430 N. Michigan (Realtor Building)

A large-scale vertical expansion called on GBA's analytical, design, and commissioning skills.

Hallway with rehab equipment

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Pediatric & DayRehab Center

This outpatient center serves children and adults; GBA provided engineering design services for the adaptive reuse project.

Exterior of Todd Building, University of Kentucky

University of Kentucky, Lee T. Todd, Jr. Building

An ASHRAE Level 1 audit,  retro-commissioning, and a lab ventilation assessment improved sustainability.