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University of Utah, Lassonde Studios

The University of Utah has redefined entrepreneurial education with Lassonde Studios - a breakthrough learning facility combining 400 student residences with an entrepreneurial hangar where students truly live, create, and launch companies. Key spaces include: a 20,000 SF hangar space on the ground floor for events, teaming, building prototypes, launching companies, and socializing; four floors of student housing and collaboration space offering diverse housing options surrounded by shared common areas; and teaming spaces filling the innovation hangar and living spaces, with 3D printers, laser cutters, lounge space, vending machines filled with tools, and abundantly available prototype rooms. In just two years, the building has quintupled the number of student-led startups on campus and bolstered the university's entrepreneurial brand. The building is open to the entire campus community, and welcomes students from all backgrounds and concentrations of study to spur innovation and establish a new paradigm for entrepreneurial learning.

Key Design Outcomes

Occupant - The building unites a remarkably diverse group. In 2018, 47 percent of residents were first year students and 47 percent upperclassmen, 74 areas of study were represented, and the gender breakout was 52 percent male and 48 percent female. Relative to the housing floors, there is far more interest and demand than the space can accommodate.

Space - The building is mechanically ventilated, with a CO2 sensor installed in each densely occupied space, an outdoor airflow measurement device installed where 20 percent or more of the design supply airflow services non-densely occupied spaces, and an alarm engages when conditions vary by 10 percent or more than the design value.

Organization - The demand to live in Lassonde Studios now far exceeds space, meaning resident beds are full and meeting Lassonde Studios’ tuition goals. The University of Utah now ranks in the top 10 of several key entrepreneurship rankings according to Bloomberg, U.S. News & World Report, and Princeton Review. It is recognized as a premier entrepreneurship institution, driving up demand and value.

Society - Within two years Lassonde Studios has generated 869 student startup teams. While many may not ultimately become companies, several are already real, launching products, services, and apps that change the world. Environment - Lassonde Studios achieved LEED Gold certification through a number of design strategies focused on daylighting, thermal control, and local material sourcing, including copper cladding that adorns the entire exterior. Beyond LEED, the design provides a 48 percent energy cost savings off LEED baseline performance targets. The extensive daylighting studies informed the façade development and design and empower higher levels of building user health and wellness.