Fort Collins, Colorado | Higher Education

Colorado State University Lory Student Center Theatre Renovation

$4.9M | 16,900 SF

Renovation to the Lory Student Center Theatre, including the implementation of a dynamic new lighting system.

  • (LEED Gold; dynamic and energy-efficient LED lighting system that utilizes color-changing LED luminaires)



Cator, Ruma and Associates was selected as the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and technology (MEP/T) Engineer and Lighting Consultant for the Lory Student Center Theater renovation project. The theater is approximately 16,900-square-feet and is designed to accommodate multiple functions, such as lectures, performances, concerts, and banquets. The theater has two lobbies for pre-function activities and back of house areas for performance staging.

The project goals were to meet LEED Gold Existing Building (EB), therefore the lighting was mostly LED to help the building meet these stringent requirements. The theater resulted in being 33% below the code allowed wattage consumption. The lighting system in the newly renovated theater was mostly driven by the preservation of the existing patterned concrete ceiling. With the preservation of the ceiling in mind, decorative luminaires were mounted in existing locations. The design for the decorative luminaires incorporates glowing boxes, which mimic some of the ceiling patterns. Because of the performance usage of this space, these decorative luminaires where made to be color-changing LED.

The main feature of the theater is the large faceted wood wall. This wall is in the main floor lobby, the front of the theater space and the back wall of the theater. Warm white LEDs were used to light this wall, helping to bring out the shadows and warm hues of the wood. The entire theater is controlled through a theatrical dimming system (ETC dimmer rack) to give the owner the ability to adjust the space as needed.

The existing mechanical air handling system was re-used and extended to re-serve the theater. The main contributor to energy savings (aside from the lighting system) was the insulation that was added to the exterior envelope. A new and separate steam service was brought into the building so the theater had its own source of heat, allowing for better comfort control.

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