Oakland University Engineering Center

Oakland University Engineering Center
Oakland University Engineering Center
Oakland University Engineering Center
Oakland University Engineering Center
Oakland University Engineering Center
Oakland University Engineering Center

Oakland University’s new facility for the School of Engineering and Computer Sciences (SECS) provides advanced technologies for academic engineering studies, while sustainable mechanical and electrical systems serve as a hands on learning tools for the students.


Oakland University


Rochester, MI


Higher Education, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Lab Planning, MEP Engineering, Lighting Design, Sustainable Design


134,200 GSF (new), 13,700 GSF (renovation)

Featured Awards

ARCHITECT Magazine, Honorable Mention - Application, 2017

American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/Michigan),

Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), Illumination Award of Merit, 2016

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Engineering Honorable Conceptor Award, 2017

Masonry Institute of Michigan, Honor Award, 2017

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) -- Technology Award, Second Place – Educational, 2017

The new facility designed by SmithGroup features a trigeneration system that uses natural gas to generate a portion of the building’s electric power; the recovered heat from the electrical generation provides heating and cooling, as well as hot water and emergency power. This is uniquely combined with a chilled-beam system and heat pump to create a first-of-its-kind system, which is further enhanced by 21.6 kW of photovoltaics on the roof, to significantly reduce annual energy costs and the University’s carbon footprint. 

To enhance the building’s educational role, SECS faculty and students can conduct research through an energy dashboard. They have the ability to access data from the trigeneration and chilled beam systems, monitor energy usage and propose improvements to the operation sequence. The facility also boasts a high bay capstone lab, cleanroom, full service machine shop, and rooftop energy lab where students conduct experiments on solar and wind generation. The lobby acts as student demonstration space and corridor windows offer clear views into the project labs, putting science on display.

SmithGroup has helped us change the face of the OU campus and improve the way our students learn…One of the most rewarding aspects was the great team I was so fortunate to work with on this project. 

Susan Riley
Senior Project Manager, OU Capital Planning and Design

The building was specifically designed with hands-on, team-based learning spaces to support a variety of interdisciplinary projects and an assortment of collaborative spaces that students can easily reconfigure to support group projects.  Students, faculty and staff have noted how the building feels like home with a great deal of activity, ideal places to study and vitality all hours of the day.