McKinstry Helps Construct the First Publicly Funded Zero-Energy University Building in WA

Kaiser Borsari Hall is an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science facility at Western Washington University (WWU). The project is a collaboration between McKinstry, WWU, Mortenson, AEI, Perkins&Will, and numerous other design consultants and trade partners, all with a shared vision for sustainable construction in higher education. The facility is intended to serve as a center for connectivity between energy and technology experts, students and faculty to inspire the next generation of climate problem-solvers through its intentional learning lab approach and biophilic design.

Construction of Kaiser Borsari Hall started in March 2023 and is expected to be completed by September 2024. The four-story, 54,000 sq. ft. mass timber building includes labs, learning spaces, classrooms and collaboration spaces. It’s designed to implement WWU’s net zero energy and carbon goals and receive a Zero Energy and Zero Carbon Emission Certification from the International Living Future Institute. Several sustainability elements, such as solar panels on the roof and the use of locally harvested Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) are used to promote circular design through material use, making it much more sustainable than traditional buildings.

Western Washington’s focus on these sustainable elements aligns directly with McKinstry values, which has allowed our partnership to take meaningful shape throughout this project process. The shared commitment to building trusted partnerships and making a positive difference directly contributes to bringing this project to life.

Upon completion, Kaiser Borsari Hall will be the first publicly funded zero-energy academic building on a university campus in Washington State. This innovative building provides students with a unique opportunity to learn and collaborate in a sustainable environment while enjoying the benefits of direct access to and availability of industry leaders. Students have the chance to engage with experts in their field, creating a unique pipeline to the future of design for the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Kaiser Borsari Hall is McKinstry’s fourth CLT building in higher education, joining Catalyst, the University of Washington’s Founder’s Hall and the University of Washington Tacoma’s Milgard Hall.


Bellingham, WA 


Higher Education

Services Provided:

VDC (BIM) Coordination Lead

Mechanical contractor responsible for install of all HVAC Ductwork, HVAC Piping (VRF System)

Plumbing systems (Subcontracted to Vet First) and DDC Controls (Subcontracted to Siemens)

Square Footage:

54,000 SF