November 2001

A new challenge
Hipp Hall is unlike any project that Mary Pat Crozier has managed

To the casual observer, Herman N. Hipp Hall looks like most any construction site.

There's large machinery, hard-hatted construction workers, red dirt and a chain-link fence. But to the trained eye of Mary Pat Crozier, Furman's capital construction manager, Hipp Hall is far from typical.

For starters, there is very little debris on the site. Most of it is quickly separated into concrete, wood and metal dumpsters and hauled away to a recycling center. Very little trash makes it to the landfill.

And there are subtle differences in building materials and systems that only architects, engineers and contractors would notice.

To Crozier, who has designed or supervised the construction of more than 100 buildings during her 25-year career, Hipp Hall is a professional challenge. It's unlike any project she's managed.

The two-and-a-half story, 38,000-square-foot structure, will be one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings in South Carolina. The U.S. Green Building Council, a national group of building industry leaders that encourages the construction of energy-efficient buildings, developed the LEED Green Buildings Rating System. The "green certification" is awarded to buildings that meet strict environmental standards.

Hipp Hall, which should be completed in August, has been designed to focus on several LEED initiatives including building materials with recycled content, construction waste management, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and occupant comfort and health.

It will house the departments of Education and Economics and Business Administration as well as the Rushing Center for Advanced Technology, Continuing Education and Graduate Studies.

"The Hipp Hall project requires a lot of coordination and cooperation between all of those involved," says Crozier. "One of the big savings is reduction in operating costs," she says. "Electricity costs are projected to be 20-30 percent lower to operate Hipp Hall than they would be to operate a comparable building on campus. So there is a direct benefit to the university over the life of the building."

A native of Wisconsin, Crozier joined the university in 1997 and has overseen major building projects on campus including John E. Johns Hall, the University Center and North Village. But Hipp Hall is the first major campus building that she's worked on from the ground up.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in architectural studies, Crozier worked as a licensed architect for firms in Milwaukee and Virginia Beach before moving to Greenville in 1990 where she was named project manager for the School District of Greenville County.

This summer Crozier completed an exam on green building design and construction to become certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Future Furman construction projects including the renovation of the James B. Duke Library and Furman hall will also be LEED certified. And like Hipp Hall, Crozier will be the point person on those projects.

"This is all very exciting for me," says Crozier. "As landfill fees and energy prices rise and natural resources become scarce, I really feel that this kind of construction is the wave of the future. And we are on the cutting edge."

A new challenge
Mary Pat Crozier breaks new ground with Hipp Hall

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Inside Furman is published monthly during the school year by the Furman University Department of Marketing and Public Relations. For story ideas, e-mail John Roberts, editor.