Setting New Standards for Environmental Design

Lillis Business Complex

University of Oregon

This project replaced an outdated breezeway with a four-story teaching facility that provides a bold identity for the business school, a popular pedestrian gateway to the campus, and a showcase of high-performance sustainable design.


182,600 sf


Eugene, OR

Year Complete


2005 Building Team Project of the Year, Silver Award — Building Design and Construction Awards

2005 Hammurabi Merit Award — Masonry Institute of Oregon

2005 Grand Award — American Council of Engineering

The Lillis Complex is a monument to the forward thinking of all who made this project happen⁠—which many said couldn't be done. This facility was designed from the ground up to activate our college's approach to learning. It facilitates experiential learning and promises to be a landmark, both for this campus and for business education nationally. Phil Romero, Former Dean, Lundquist College of Business

The Lillis Business Complex is home to the University of Oregon’s Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, which has earned national recognition for its entrepreneurial program.

Inside, a dramatic atrium and stair rotunda serve as the focal point for student activities within the business school, as well as a pedestrian portal and a key campus entry point. A series of gathering places inside and out integrate the atrium and adjacent courtyard with the open space network of the campus.

Nestled around the atrium’s central spiral stairway are resource centers, counseling centers, group study rooms, a café and public gathering spaces. Tiered case study rooms on two floors accommodate standard lecture and team breakout sessions in the same space.

Early in the programming phase, faculty and students of the business school raised a critical issue. They were convinced that sustainable business practices would be critical to the survival of business in the coming decades. To house the school responsible for preparing future business leaders for such an environment, they wanted a building that would demonstrate the principles of sustainability and serve as paradigm for innovative thinking and decision making.

In response, the Lillis Business Complex integrates a wide spectrum of sustainable design strategies, with a focus is on energy savings. The design incorporates many sustainable features, including passive ventilation; five different types of photovoltaics, including the first glass-integrated PVs; a green roof that acts as a natural filter for rainwater runoff; a linoleum floor covering that can be removed and returned to the manufacturer for reuse; reduced water consumption; recycled construction debris; and a steel and concrete frame that contains recycled content.