Case Study: Middlebury College facilities honored for innovations

As colleges strive to make residence halls more appealing to students, many schools are improving their facilities. At Middlebury College in Vermont, the residence halls are really social houses that provide unique living spaces for student interaction - indoor and outdoor courtyards, kitchens, entertainment centers and a social room with a gigantic stone fireplace.

Middlebury needed to design and build two 14,000-square-foot social houses in one year. So the architect, Jeremiah Eck Architects (JEA), Boston, turned to computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) to solve its scheduling challenge. The firm used DataCADR, a software program from DATACAD.

"The Middlebury College houses offer a real sense of place, much like our residential work," says Steve Mielke, a principal with JEA. "There's a sensitivity to how the two buildings work together and how the rooms work within the architecture. The CADD technology automated the entire production process. These efficiencies gave us the time to focus and reflect on the design."

CADD also streamlined communications with outside consultants on the Middlebury project.

"Being fully computerized allows JEA to contract with the best consultants all over the world," says Jeremiah Eck, the firm's lead principal.

George Whitney, Middlebury's director of operations, says JEA's experience with CADD was an important consideration in choosing the architect.

"This capacity contributed to the desired result as (it) gave us two site-sensitive houses, which are both functional and beautiful new additions to the campus," says Whitney.

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