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Theater Update: Sustainability Takes Center Stage

When Loyola Academy's new Center for Performing Arts opens in Fall 2022, the complex will be the newest addition to Loyola's campus—and the greenest. Throughout the visioning and building process, Loyola’s leadership team worked closely with Krueck Sexton Partners (KSP), a Chicago-based design firm active in the fight against climate change.
“KSP has a great reputation in the sustainability space, and it’s one of the many reasons why we chose them to partner with us on this special project,” explains Executive Vice President Dennis R. Stonequist ’90.

 Environmental stewardship is a core value of KSP’s work. The firm is an early adopter of the AIA 2030 Commitment, which requires participants in the building industry to track climate-friendly practices and pushes them to integrate increasingly efficient, renewable, and innovative energy systems. In addition, KSP is a seminal member of Architects Advocate for Action on Climate Change, a nonpartisan grassroots action platform co-founded by KSP Partner Tom Jacobs, AIA, in 2016.  

“We knew KSP would collaborate with us to design a building that works for us now and in the future,” Stonequist adds. “We took great care to ensure a solid foundation in sustainability measures that would leave us room to grow.” 

Using 100% LED fixtures, Loyola’s new Center for the Performing Arts is designed for a 20% reduction in fossil fuel energy when compared to similar building types. Infrastructure has been provided to transition the building to all-electric.  The building’s concrete includes both fly ash, a cement substitute, and CO2 mineralization technology, which reduces the carbon footprint of the concrete by 40% in total. And roughly 30 additional trees will be planted on campus to replace the 15 that necessitated removal during the theater groundbreaking.  

On the horizon, Loyola hopes to achieve a number of goals—both short term and long term—for the Center for the Performing Arts. These include:

  • Installing PV solar panels on the roof, which has been intentionally kept clear for this purpose. Preliminary studies indicate the roof can support a solar panel array providing an additional 60% reduction in fossil fuel energy.
  • Converting the building to all-electric, including the current natural gas boiler, so that it runs on 80%-100% renewable energy and complies with the AIA 2030 Commitment, which would be an enormous accomplishment.
Anyone interested in efforts to enhance the theater’s sustainability and reduce its carbon footprint is encouraged to contact for opportunities including community sponsorships, corporate partnerships, naming opportunities and more.

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