Montana State University – Northern’s Diesel Technology Center

Project overview

The Diesel Technology Center (DTC) is located on the Montana State University–Northern’s (MSUN) Campus in Havre, MT. The Diesel & Agriculture Technology curriculum promotes unique, hands-on technology education and MSUN is recognized by industry leaders as being one of the top diesel & Ag tech colleges nationwide. With increasing enrollment, the University needed a state-of-the-art building that would accommodate the future growth of the diesel program and serve as a recruitment tool for potential students and faculty.

Process

  • Comprehensive building programming with project stakeholders to establish the project needs and goals.
  • This project faced many design phase delays and was completed after 8 years due to a change in legislature and the nature of a donor funded project. Throughout this time maintaining consistent communication was critical in ensuring a successful outcome. 
  • Integration of energy-efficient lighting and HVAC, extensive daylighting, and repurposing of a portion of the existing building contributed to the sustainable design and Green Globes certification.
  • The building site was designed to facilitate several campus improvement projects which were important to MSUN’s long-range plan, including; new landscaping, sidewalks, and the building’s interior space serving as a connection between student housing and central campus.

Outcome

The new 24,000 square foot DTC building breaks the mold of what people envision when they think of a technical school and caters to elite, interactive technology training. The facility includes dedicated industrial lab and breakout classroom spaces, allowing MSUN to concurrently teach numerous classes to the increasing number of students enrolled in the Diesel and Agriculture Technology programs. The public lobbies at each building entrance include a comfortable study/lounge area for students that can also be used for teaching and industry presentations. Lab spaces are brightly lit with LED lighting and extensive glazing to bring in daylight. Glazing in corridor walls allows visitors to tour the building and view the labs from a safe and quiet viewpoint. Polished concrete floors and burnished CMU walls give the building interior a durable and attractive finish.