Case Studies - Iowans for Project Innovation



Better Results

The Proof is in the Project

Design-build is delivering successful projects of all sizes and in every sector across the nation.
Here are just a few successful (and even award-winning) design-build projects in the Midwest.


Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex, University of Iowa

The University of Iowa Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex addition was the Iowa Board of Regents’ first design-build project. This unique project was designed to not only provide practice space for the university’s tennis, soccer, softball, and golf teams, but also good acoustical practice space for the marching band. The $12 million, 87,000-square-foot addition was designed to integrate seamlessly with the existing structure. Design-build collaboration allowed the project to be delivered on a fast-track while maximizing the University’s value by including a number of additional “betterments” including:

  • Additional windows to provide views of the turf area
  • Acoustical ceilings
  • A rain garden
  • Expanded band storage
  • Access road linking the new parking area North to Hawkeye Park Road.

Together the design-build team, including Russell Construction and ShiveHattery Architecture+Engineering, delivered not only extra value items but the project also achieved U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver certification including many green building elements providing ongoing energy savings for the university.

“The university got the best value on this project thanks to design-build.”

— Brian Hedgren, Russell Construction Senior Project Manager

Oakdale Biomedical Research Facility, University of Iowa

The University of Iowa’s Oakdale Research Facility is an off-campus animal research facility. The complex 51,241 sf project includes Surgery, CT Scanner, X-Ray, Orthopedic Prep/Recovery, Holding and Procedure rooms, multiple laboratories and support spaces. Carl A. Nelson & Company was selected to lead the $24.2 million Design-Build project.

Design-build collaboration allowed the team to value-engineer many innovative solutions providing additional value to the project including a reconfiguration that increased the size of the building at no extra cost. The Oakdale Biomedical Research Facility was a highly successful design-build project for the University of Iowa, fulfilling their expectations on quality, schedule and budget. Even with the aggressive schedule and additional improvements to the original plan, the project completed on time and budget.

Geoffroy Residence Hall, Iowa State University

Iowa State’s Geoffroy Hall was the university’s first new residence hall in more than a decade and was desperately needed to accommodate the increasing demand for student housing. The eight-story, 193,000-square-foot residence hall has 784 total beds, and included a number of improvements to the original plan such as:

  • 12% more beds that ISU’s minimum requirement at 43% lower cost per bed than comparable projects
  • A lobby entrance twice the size of the minimum requirement
  • A nearly column-free structure that provides future flexibility increased sustainability through LEED Gold Certified design

The Opus design-build team delivered all of this on-time and $1 million under ISU’s targeted budget.

Elizabeth Catlett Residence Hall, University of Iowa

This unique twelve-story residence hall is home to 1,049 University of Iowa students and provides far more than just the “college dorm” experience of the past. Three nine-story residential towers sit atop a three-story base structure with terrific views of the Iowa River. The Catlett Market Place, a large multi-purpose room, a conference room/classroom, fitness center, laundry facilities, and Rocklin Learning Commons featuring a large group study lounge and ten private study rooms help build a sense of community for residents. The design-build team of Miron Construction, Rohrbach Associates PC and Harley Ellis Devereaux delivered this LEED Gold Certified building in 21% less time with 110% fewer change orders while delivering 109% more beds than a similar University of Iowa residence hall delivered using traditional design-bid-build.

Cook County Central Campus Health Center, Illinois

This new beacon of healthcare services provides state-of-the art medical oncology, infusion, dental, general medicine, oral health, dermatology, ophthalmology and other specialty outpatient services to the residents of Cook County and the surrounding areas. The nine-story, 282,000-square-foot Central Campus Health Center replaces an aging and outdated clinic and connects to an adjacent hospital. The state-of-the-art facility represents Cook County Health’s future as a modern, integrated health system and provides preventive, primary and outpatient specialty care services to the local community, working to reduce the prevalence of serious chronic conditions and the need for hospital care. This award-winning $111 million design-build project was delivered in just 18 months.

Liberty Utilities and Wastewater Treatment Facilities, Missouri

To maximize savings and maintain user rates, the city of Liberty, Missouri needed the treatment plant, force main, trunks sewers, pump stations, administration and maintenance facilities in operation as quickly as possible. Under design-bid-build arrangements, this would be over six different contracts and take over four years to complete. Using design-build, the Liberty Utilities and Wastewater Treatment Facilities delivered everything the utility needed under one contract in just two and a half years.

Innovative Learning Environments for Warsaw Community Schools

Innovative Learning Environments for Warsaw Community Schools

Warsaw Community Schools wanted to provide innovative, STEM-focused, collaborative and active learning environments by providing significant upgrades to three schools in the community. These upgrades included renovations and additions to two schools and an entirely new elementary school, an 80,000+ square-foot project that replaced the original building on the same site. Each building features innovative layouts that promote creative learning through flexible, non-traditional, collaborative spaces. Energy savings solutions were provided for each of the schools with Energy Star performance levels guaranteed by the end of the first year of operation. The result was a transformation of existing interior educational environments into dynamic 21st Century STEM environments throughout the school system.

Johnson County Emergency Communications Center

Johnson County Emergency Communications Center, Kansas

The Johnson County Communications Center is an emergency communication facility that provides citizens added support and emergency operations, back up for emergency crisis situations and increased training for dispatch. The project team came though on the goal of making this center a leading example of civic architecture, as well as a high-quality facility. This highly environmentally responsive building obtained LEED Gold certification, exceeding the client’s original goal. Designed to create a stimulating and sustainable environment the workspace is wellness enhanced and energy efficient, giving each occupant control of their own space. Several key decisions were made in the planning process that allowed the Owner to enhance the project in previously unimaginable ways. With the use of durable, quality materials, the center will stand long-term and be easy to maintain due to the commitment to sustainable materials.

See our downloadable list of Project Case Studies.


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