Historic Dining Hall Renovation

University of Wisconsin

Carson Gulley Commons, built in 1926 as a formal dining space for the UW-Madison Lakeshore Area residence halls, has been renovated to better accommodate current program and food service needs. The design team worked closely with the Wisconsin Historical Society to determine the most appropriate approach to all building modifications.


The project upgraded the building infrastructure including the steam service to the building and new campus chilled water to provide a more comfortable environment and improve on building efficiency.


The lower level was renovated to consolidate the residence life support spaces for the adjacent Tripp, Adams, and Slichter halls. This allowed the campus to serve these functions more efficiently while providing an inviting gathering space for the students. The main level was renovated into a new dining area, convenience store, and open market place venue to better meet the needs of the students. The upper level provides an updated meeting and event space with an adjacent kitchen to support catered events.


The new HVAC system includes variable speed pumps and air handling units for improved efficiency. Demand control ventilation was used to modulate the ventilation air to the building based on actual occupant load and varying make-up air requirements. New kitchen exhaust hoods included demand control to modulate the amount of exhaust air for each hood based on hood use. It is expected these improvements will provide a more than 30% energy cost reduction compared to a code compliant system.


Automatic lighting control was provided and takes advantage of reduced energy consumption during times of the day when natural day lighting is available.


The dining hall includes audio/visual capabilities for large group presentations. The system includes wired and wireless microphone systems, assistive listening, video distribution, and mobile audio video capabilities.





Madison, WI



30,200 SF



Mechanical, Electrical, Energy Modeling, Structural, Systems Commissioning, Audio/Visual, Security, Telecommunications