Frederiksen Court

Iowa State University - Ames, IA

As a means to provide more housing for rapidly increasing student numbers, Iowa State University initiated an expansion project for its university-owned apartment housing facilities in September of 2012. The project was based on an extremely aggressive timeline: two of the six buildings were to be open for occupancy by the start of the next fall semester in August of 2013. Each of the six buildings was loosely based on an existing footprint, but systems were modified in order to promote sustainability and earn certification through the “LEED for Homes” program. Each building stands three stories tall with thirty apartments, each apartment having four bedrooms. In total, the expansion project provided 720 more beds for Iowa State students looking for apartment-style accommodations in lieu of dorms. This project presented MODUS with the opportunity to showcase the capacity to turn around a project on an extremely tight schedule while still providing sustainable solutions.


Several factors were weighed while selecting the mechanical systems that would serve the facilities, including the owner’s desire to maintain consistency between all buildings, energy efficiency, and optimal life cycle cost levels. Cooling is provided by high SEER split systems and heating is provided by high efficiency condensing furnaces. Each building includes a radon mitigation system and was designed around a centralized energy recovery option. Low flow fixtures are incorporated into the plumbing design to optimize water efficiency. The ductwork systems were all tested for air leakage, another step to provide a high level of sustainability throughout the design. Service ability was also a key component to the design: all indoor mechanical equipment was located in mechanical rooms accessible from corridors, significantly reducing the need for maintenance staff to enter into student living spaces. Maintenance staff members were consulted frequently in order to ensure the design equipment was based on preferred manufacturers and that solutions were incorporated into the design to address previous concerns with university apartments.


The building’s lighting and electrical systems were designed to meet the concurrent needs of efficiency, affordability, and ease of constructability. The incorporation of nonmetallic cabling allowed for the aggressive time line to be met while compact fluorescent fixtures provided the affordable efficiency. The telecommunications design provides students with a building-wide wireless network in addition to the standard hard-wired network ports. Advanced security systems incorporate both cameras and door access systems. Two fully accessible apartments are included in each building, with additional plumbing and telecommunications systems provided.

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Frederiksen Court


Ames, IA






212,000 Sq Ft

Construction Cost

$20.9 Million

Completion Date

Winter 2014

LEED, Living