Business School Improves Student Experience with Renovation




University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business


Ann Arbor, Mich.

Design Team:

Kohn Pederson Fox Assocs.

Product Specs:

TZ100 Zipper Tension System skylight shades

Originally Published:

Designed by architects at Kohn Pederson Fox Assocs., the Stephen M. Ross School of Business opened new facilities last year that provide classrooms, study space, offices and nonacademic spaces to serve the student and faculty community.


Kohn Pederson Fox Assocs. sought to improve the student experience at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business and maximize site usage by constructing a new building, Jeff T. Blau Hall, and renovating the connected Kresge Hall.


Completed in 2017, the project received LEED Gold recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council. Features such as daylighting systems, low flow bathroom fixtures, energy-efficient light fixtures and occupant-sensing controls contribute to an estimated 30% energy savings compared to a code compliant building.


Hunter Douglas Architectural and installers at Creative Windows worked closely with the team at KPF, construction leads at Walbridge Aldinger and electrical contractors from Conti to balance design intent, daylighting performance and construction requirements. They settled on a system that features several groups of RB 500 automated shades and a bank of TZ100 Zipper Tension System skylight shades.

The new Jeff T. Blau Hall atrium, an open space for students to meet and collaborate, consists of three separate levels of 10 RB 500 shades, the highest hanging 50 ft. above the main floor.

These 30 shades manage solar heat gain and glare from the south-facing windows that overlook the newly renovated courtyard. Sunlight can be easily manipulated to keep the area warm in winter with plentiful light and cool in the summer with more regulated daylighting. Students and faculty will be able to view devices like laptop screens and phones more easily with less glare as well.

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