Colombia Embracing Sustainable Design at Universidad EAN


“Project Legacy” at Colombia’s Universidad EAN will oversee the construction of a 215,278 square-foot building that is slated to achieve LEED Gold certification while also featuring repurposed, recycled and reused materials.

The most prominent feature of the building is the McDonough-designed WonderFrame™ shade structure, a reusable/recyclable space-frame-like fabrication. The WonderFrame innovation was originally built as a pavilion during the 2016 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Known as the ICEhouse (ICE = Innovation for the Circular Economy), the structure was rebuilt in 2017 as an official meeting space in Davos, and will return in this capacity again in 2018.

The WonderFrame screen is clad with multi-colored perforated panels, metaphorically invoking tree leaves. These triangular panels provide shade while simultaneously admitting daylight, demonstrating both material and energy efficiency. Window glazing was chosen for energy effectiveness as well as high acoustic control. The WonderFrame will blanket roughly 85% of the building’s facade, making it the largest installation of the system so far. And the design is meant to reflect Colombian culture.

According to, The LEED Gold-seeking building will include solar chimneys to allow for natural ventilation. Rooftop solar will help power the building.

Human performance has long been linked to building design. The WELL Building Standard, an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring the performance of building features that impact health and well-being, helps clarify this connection. Designed to work in concert with the LEED Green Building Rating System, the Living Building Challenge, and other leading green building standards, the WELL Building Standard is third-party certified through the Green Building Certification, Inc. – the same body that certifies LEED projects. WELL is grounded in the belief that human health and wellness should be at the center of design.

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