July 2024

ASU Student Pavilion

When Clay Creaser joined JE Dunn Construction in 2016, the Arizona State University project was already underway, but he was immediately impacted by the transformative project.

“It was the first project we did with Arizona State University, and it was a really unique and cool project,” Creaser said.

The project was no ordinary construction task. It was a LEED Platinum Net Zero student pavilion, a marvel of sustainable design at the heart of ASU’s bustling campus. Located directly across from the student union and adjacent to the library and another classroom building, the new student pavilion was poised to be a central hub of student activity.

“Thousands of students walk by it every single day,” said Creaser.

What made the pavilion exceptional was its focus on students. Unlike other buildings tied to specific colleges or purposes, this space was designed with the general student body in mind. It featured a multipurpose room, study rooms, and various spaces tailored for student groups.

“Everything is centered around what student groups and the students themselves need,” Creaser said. The involvement of students in the design process was a unique aspect. “The students were heavily involved in the overall scope of what the building would be used for,” Creaser added. This collaborative approach ensured the pavilion would truly serve its intended users.

The complexity of constructing a Net Zero building—one that produces as much energy as it consumes—posed significant challenges. “It was a catalyst for our relationship with ASU,” Creaser said. “The project being platinum-certified and Net Zero brought in some unique design elements.”

The integration of different manufacturers’ systems, which had never been combined before, required meticulous coordination. Yet, despite the technical difficulties, the project was a resounding success.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the construction was its impact—or rather, lack thereof—on the daily lives of students. “Thousands of students walked by that building every single day while it was under construction, and we had zero issues or safety problems,” Creaser said. This seamless integration into the campus environment was a testament to the team’s careful planning and execution.

After the pavilion’s completion, the feedback from ASU was overwhelmingly positive, Creaser said. The building, which could have easily been a maintenance nightmare given its innovative systems, turned out to be one of the most reliable on campus.

Beyond the technical achievements and accolades, the project fostered lasting relationships. The JE Dunn team developed strong bonds with the ASU staff they worked alongside. “I still communicate with them on a regular basis, checking in and seeing how things are going,” Creaser said, reflecting on the friendships formed. These connections, built on mutual respect and a shared goal, extended beyond mere professional interactions.

In the end, the ASU student pavilion was more than just a building; it was a symbol of innovation, collaboration, and community. For Creaser and the rest of the Southwest JE Dunn team, it was a project that marked the beginning of a meaningful relationship with Arizona State University, one that Creaser and his team are continuing to nurture.