Incorporating sustainability into a campus’ future

Principia College Master Plan

Principia College

Elsah, Illinois

  • education
  • Master Planning

Project Story

Principia College engaged Christner Architects to complete a Campus Master Plan with a focus on “sustainability”. Sustainability was viewed through four lenses – the student community, the faculty/staff community, financial sustainability, and environmental stewardship. Key design decisions were evaluated against four metrics to determine which approaches best aligned with Principia’s goal to further excellence in learning.

  • Size

    165 acres

  • Status

    Completed 2024

The Work

Four months of visioning, assessments and analysis laid the groundwork for the development of master plan scenarios. Scenarios were vetted through a series of task force meetings which allowed for buy-in from the student population, the faculty, department heads, and administrative leadership. In partnership with a trusted general contractor, schemes were assigned order-of-magnitude costs to aid College leadership in decision making.

The final deliverable includes a ten-year master plan with details on phasing, programming, and pricing. Sub master plans provided include: an environmental sustainability masterplan with recommendations for achieving carbon neutrality; a landscape masterplan with strategies for activating outdoors spaces and preserving the campus’s incredible sense of place; a facilities condition assessment with pricing to upgrade failing MEP systems; and an accessibility and safety master plan addressing ADA, circulation, and parking.