Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Ford Engineering Center features ‘green’ designs

Once only a large hole in the ground along Sheridan Road, the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center is establishing its 84,000-gross-square-foot presence this fall.

A grand opening ceremony for the six-story building will be held Oct. 6. Current engineering students, particularly freshman, will begin to utilize its features this winter, said Gina Myerson, director of marketing for the McCormick School of Engineering.

Engineering Design and Communication classes, required for all McCormick freshman, will be held in the new center. EDC classes used to be held in a facility on Maple Avenue and Clark Street, about a mile from the Technological Institute.

McCormick sophomore Courtney Wallace lived in Slivka Residential College while enrolled in EDC classes last year. She found it difficult to get to the class from her dorm.

“I took the shuttle from Tech, but it still took 18 minutes to get there,” Wallace said.

Fellow McCormick students will be able to take advantage of other programs held in the Ford Center starting Winter Quarter, including the Institute for Design, Engineering and Application, or IDEA. The program allows students to earn a certificate in engineering design.

“(The Ford Center) is essential to the program,” said Prof. Edward Colgate, the Institute’s director. “Teaching EDC off-campus was a big impediment for us to do something larger–now a building is providing students with the right tools with which to work.”

Colgate points to the structure of the building and to updated technology as two of the $30 million building’s advantages.

EDC students were involved in the building’s planning.. Their cultural consciousness also contributed to the centers “green” features, such as using natural light in 75% of the building.

The center is the first Northwestern building to be certified for environmental sustainability by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System. The center will use 20 percent less energy than buildings built to other conventional standards.

For now the building is just another facade. Fall quarter is designated as a transitional, buffer term for the center.

“I walked into one classroom that’s going to be used that wasn’t completed,” said McCormick Associate Dean Stephen Carr. “It’s going to be a beehive of activity–it’s the most exciting thing we’ve done to improve the undergraduate education experience here.”

Reach Amanda Palleschi at

[email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Ford Engineering Center features ‘green’ designs