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University of North Alabama

Overview:

Description:

The University of North Alabama needed student housing but had few sites available. It also had varied housing needs, including sororities, affinity groups and traditional students. Most importantly, it needed an updated product to attract and serve the needs of students, both current and future, as the current housing was quite outdated.

UHS developed a solution to provide four buildings on three separate sites around the campus. Two were existing parking lots, adjacent to existing housing, with significant slope that allowed each to house split level structures. The other site was a flat site, which was home to an old gymnasium in poor condition. The demolition of the gym allowed our team to build two three-story buildings for seven sororities.

All four building plans are structurally and functionally the same layout, which helped to achieve great economy in construction cost.  On each floor, four residents compose a mini-cluster, and three mini-clusters form a mini-community of 12 residents sharing a common living space on each side of the central core. This core houses an elevator, stairs, two-story atrium, offices, study labs, kitchens, laundries, manager’s apartments, and Resident Assistant (RA) rooms. The ground floor of the split-level buildings includes a multipurpose room which can be used as a classroom to promote a living-learning environment. At the sorority buildings, the central commons provides a chapter room for each Greek organization.

The housing clusters on each end give the University maximum flexibility by providing two private rooms and one two-bedroom which share bathroom facilities. This arrangement offers the students a balance between privacy and social interaction, which is what UNA desired.

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