Howard L. Hawks Hall

Lincoln, Nebraska

240,000 GSF

This multi-story, $84-million Howard L. Hawks building is five levels— one below ground and four above ground. A spectacular atrium is a major focal point, giving the college a place to hold events and to engage the local community.

The building provides space for an expected 5,000 business students and employs “cluster classrooms,” encouraging students to learn from peers in group settings as much as from professors teaching classes. The design also provides for expanded student services, mock interview rooms, career services and tutoring spaces, a unique finance lab in which students will learn through technology and databases, new spaces for actuarial science, entrepreneurship and leadership, as well as study lounges, and a cafe for students between classes.


  • The HVAC system is comprised of seven air handling systems. AHUs have incorporated a fan matrix technology comprised of multiple direct-drive plenum supply and return fans as dictated by unit airflow capacities.
  • The building is being controlled by an electronic microprocessor-based direct digital control (DDC) system which is the primary control mechanism for all heating, ventilating, and air conditioning controls.
  • Domestic hot water heating is handled by a steam to hot water converter.
  • Emergency power is supplied by an 800 kW diesel engine generator installed in a weather-proof enclosure located on grade.
  • Due to the inaccessible height of the atrium, installing conventional smoke detection was not an option. A very early warning aspirating smoke detection system was designed and installed in that area. This system utilized continuous air sampling of the space to provide the earliest possible warning of an impending fire hazard.
  • The building was provided with a voice and data communications structured cable system, including telecommunications rooms (TRs), pathways, backbone fiber/copper, horizontal copper cables, termination hardware, cable management hardware, and communications outlet faceplates and jacks.

Professional photography by:  Peter Aaron Architectural Photography

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