Human Health Building awarded the 2021 Best of Rochester Award


Noora Neiroukh

The southern view of OU’s award-winning Human Health Building. The impeccably designed structure has been open to students since 2012 and is still receiving recognition from the Rochester community.

The Human Health Building (HHB) on Oakland University’s campus is an environmentally-friendly building that stands out in the Rochester community. People recognize this building and all it has to offer.

The HHB has been awarded the 2021 Best of Rochester Award in the category of science by the Rochester Award Program, a community based awards program that community members are asked to nominate contenders for each specific category. 

“The Human Health Building was a real benefit to the Rochester community because it offers such excellence in science instruction and producing graduates that go off in the community and create change in the community,” Kevin Ball, dean of OU’s School of Health Sciences said.

Rochester Award Program was created to recognize the accomplishments of local businesses throughout the community. There are multiple ways that the information is gathered to help determine the winners of each category. By the data provided by the Rochester Award Program and the third parties that help out, the community is able to recognize the best of Rochester.

“It will add to the already reputation of a beautiful campus,” Dr. Judy Didion, dean of OU’s School of Nursing said. “That’s one thing I hear all the time when I tell people where I work.”

The HHB is designed for the students. Completed in September 2012, the HHB became the main resource for OU’s School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences. It’s people-friendly design provides plenty of open space for students to use and natural light coming through the windows.

“It’s a nice addition to the campus,” Didion said. “But it also kind of brings in the balance between nature and academics by having a university setting that respects the actual natural resources outside with the way the building is structured with the windows and the gardens and the wetlands along the road.”

The HHB is made with renewable materials, advanced air quality, water conservation system and geothermal heating and cooling system. It is certified as Michigan’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum University Building in 2013.

“Some people will say it’s a little out of character with the traditional parts of campus but I think where its place it’s kind of on its own,” Didion said. “For me when I think about health care, which is what the building houses, all the health sciences and nursing, and you think about innovation and advancement and it’s kind of symbolic of that because it’s a very innovative structure.”

Oakland University has provided such advancements within this building that better the community and the people within it. Giving the students an opportunity to study in different ways that the other buildings may not be able to offer.

“I think this building is an extraordinary place,” Ball said. “It really is a very welcoming building with its brightness in the upper parts of the building with lots of windows and open, but at the same time it’s a really smart building. It has the LEED platinum abilities to manage energy in the building and it serves all of these purposes.”